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McDaniel encouraged Dolphins will sign Tua to long-term deal

Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Head coach Mike McDaniel is fairly confident the Miami Dolphins can agree to a long-term deal with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ahead of the 2024 season.

"I'm very encouraged both Tua's representation and our organization are hard at work," McDaniel said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel's David Furones.

He added: "My main concern this offseason has been communicating what Tua needs from his head coach and his offensive coaching staff, which is what things can we identify to continue the progression of your game."

Tagovailoa led the NFL with 4,694 passing yards and posted a career-high 29 touchdown passes last season to earn his first Pro Bowl nod.

The former Alabama star managed to start all 17 games in 2023. However, injuries plagued his 2021 and 2022 campaigns, including multiple stints in the league's concussion protocol. McDaniel highlighted the signal-caller's ability to stay on the field this past season as a key factor in his development.

"My belief has always been strong - since Day 1 - in Tua. It's stronger than it was the first day I met him, and that's because of that relationship where I'm focused, which is continuing to provide the coaching so he can continue to evolve his game, as he has since the second that I started talking to him," McDaniel said.

Tagovailoa is entering the final year of his contract after Miami picked up the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. A new pact for Tagovailoa would provide the Dolphins with much-needed flexibility since his full $23.17-million salary in 2024 will count toward the cap, per Over the Cap.

Miami is currently $29 million over the cap and will need to be creative to get under $255.4 million ahead of the new league year that begins on March 13.

Tagovailoa could become an unrestricted free agent in 2025 if the Dolphins don't use the franchise tag on him to retain his rights.

The soon-to-be 26-year-old told reporters earlier in February that he believes he'll sign an extension with Miami this offseason. Tagovailoa is in line to receive a lucrative contract after leading the Dolphins to back-to-back postseason appearances over the last two years.

Miami touts a 32-19 record with Tagovailoa as its starting quarterback. He's thrown for 12,639 yards, 81 touchdowns, and 37 interceptions in 53 career games.

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