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Could AFC’s young quarterback talent change the team’s commitment to Tua? – Denver Post

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Here’s the latest installment of our Miami Dolphins Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel writers David Furones and Omar Kelly answer questions from readers.

Q: Does the fact that the Dolphins will face Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in the foreseeable future change the Dolphins’ perspective on a trade for Deshaun Watson? Dave Hyde’s recent article about confronting these guys and how it doesn’t bode well for Miami got me wondering what other choices they had. — Matt S., via email

A: Watching that Divisional Round playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, it was hard to imagine a scenario where you would have dropped Tua Tagovailoa and he would stay with Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes.

Admittedly, this game was a drastic outlier where both quarterbacks had to be near perfect. And even then, a perfect quarterback had to lose.

I don’t think the Dolphins hinted that they were committed to building around Tagovailoa this offseason just for that decision to be swayed by watching a two-quarter playoff game that we already knew best to play at their best.

We can’t expect Tagovailoa to be on the level of Mahomes or Allen just yet, but he’s not there with Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert either. He has, however, every excuse in two NFL seasons as to why he is behind his contemporaries in the first round of the 2020 Draft.

He had terrible pass protection. He didn’t have a healthy receiving body with substantial depth. He didn’t have the support of his former coach, Brian Flores, and he had to deal with his own injuries.

Despite all this, he showed signs of limitations. He usually makes at least one puzzle decision per game. His lack of arm strength may not allow him to make all the deep or tight throws, but then again, could his hip, rib or finger injuries still have affected him during the year 2? Could this be the offseason where he prepares his body and where we finally see his full potential next fall?

The prospect of that makes it reasonable to give him at least another season, especially if uncertainty remains in Watson’s legal situation and neither Aaron Rodgers nor Russell Wilson decides they want to leave Green Bay and Seattle, respectively.

If the options aren’t there, don’t give up the No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft too soon. Maybe a new head coach and offensive staff could get the most out of Tagovailoa, and if not isn’t obvious after next season, take the quarterback search in the ensuing offseason where the next coach can build with someone else behind center.

Now, even if Tagovailoa can’t get to a place where he’s at the caliber of Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Herbert or Lamar Jackson, there are paths to success even if you don’t have that star quarterback from the franchise that will elevate your organization for a decade and a half.

Even with Rodgers and Drew Brees in the NFC for so long, the list of quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl in the decade-plus since one of them won the conference includes Colin Kaepernick, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff and Nick Foles – with Foles earning his opportunity and Garoppolo one game away from returning to the playoffs. Even when Wilson had his back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, it was when he was younger on a team led by great defensive and running play before Wilson took on more responsibility for the team.

For about two decades, the AFC went through Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger before Mahomes helped Kansas City win the conference for the past two years. He has one home game left to reach another Super Bowl, but Joe Flacco managed to win it all once. Eli Manning proved twice with the Giants that a hot postseason, with a solid defense, can get you a ring.

For this to work without a top quarterback, everything else has to be near perfect. The Rams have a star roster in virtually every position, so they had to go out and add the best veteran quarterback they could find in Matthew Stafford to replace Goff.

The Dolphins now have a top-notch defense, which reduces the likelihood that Tagovailoa or any other quarterback in the future will have to win a shootout the magnitude of the Bills-Chiefs. But again, ask Buffalo’s No. 1-ranked defense about it after Sunday.

And with Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Herbert and Jackson in the conference, you better have a guy who can play in a high-scoring affair if a game goes that way.

You have a question ?

E-mail David Furonsor beacon @OmarKelly Where @DavidFurones_ on Twitter.

Previous answer:

What are the first draft goals the Dolphins will choose?

Can Dolphins hire offensive coach, keep defensive assistants?

Is Zach Thomas entering the Hall of Fame this year?

Why not throw on the ground to waddle more?

What do the Dolphins think of RB practice squad rookie Gerrid Doaks?

Which free agent receiver could the Dolphins partner with Waddle?

What about Jason Sanders’ failures?

What changes might occur to receiving bodies during the offseason?

Which offensive linemen should the Dolphins target in free agency?

Can Tua still be a top-10 quarterback?

Does Austin Jackson’s move to left guard bring hope?

Did the franchise miss the trades of Fitzpatrick, Tunsil, Tannehill?



Could AFC’s young quarterback talent change the team’s commitment to Tua? – Denver Post

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