Tua Tagovailoa's rookie season in Miami was alright, but it could've been better. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said last week that Tagovailoa would be the team's starting quarterback in 2021, but some players aren't too confident in his decision.
Speaking anonymously with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, three Dolphins players said they didn't see enough out of Tagovailoa in 2020 to have confidence in him as the team's starter moving forward.
"They said they were unimpressed by Tagovailoa during training camp to the point they thought he wouldn't be ready to play in 2020," Salguero wrote. "They said they were 'caught totally off guard,' as one put it, when Tagovailoa was named the starter the seventh game of the season."
"And another said that before the season finale when players were informed by Flores that Ryan Fitzpatrick would not be available against the Buffalo Bills, he was disappointed because he believes Fitzpatrick was better than Tagovailoa. …"
Tagovailoa showed flashes of greatness during his rookie campaign, but was benched for Fitzpatrick in two of his nine starts. The 22-year-old went 6-3, completing 64.1% of his passes for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns against five interceptions. He also ran for 109 yards and three scores.
If the Dolphins had won their final game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, they would've made the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Tagovailoa tossed just one touchdown against three interceptions in a 56-26 loss to the Bills, making players question the Alabama product's capabilities.
With the Dolphins committing to Tagovailoa, they'll pass up on the opportunity to select a top-notch quarterback with the third-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson will likely be available when Miami is on the clock, but they must feel Tagovailoa has more promise than either of those quarterbacks.
Of course, there's always the possibility the team makes a trade for disgruntled Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Watson would consider a trade to the Dolphins. In any deal, Tagovailoa would be sent the other way.