The Sunshine State is hotter than ever with the off season moves the Miami Dolphins have put together. You gotta keep up with the Mahomes's or take away one of his weapons! The Dolphins have been all in since the 2021 season ended. It started off on the wrong foot with the surprising firing of head coach Brian Flores, however since then, it's been Phins Up!
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The trade between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins is one of those deals that benefit both teams. The Chiefs could not afford to pay Tyreek Hill what he wanted. Hill saw what DeVante Adams had become the highest paid receiver in football after his trade from Green Bay to Las Vegas. Hill informed the Chiefs he wanted to be the highest paid non quarterback in the league and K.C. simply could not afford to keep him and continue to make progress at other needed positions. When you pay your quarterback a half a billion dollars, you're gonna have to make some hard decisions about the rest of the roster. The Chiefs couldn't afford Hill and that opened the door for the Dolphins to walk in and make an offer.
Miami traded away a 1st, 2nd and 4th round picks in this years draft along with a 4th and a 6th rounder in 2023 to acquire Tyreek Hill who is without a doubt a top tier wide receiver and a one of a kind type of athletic player. His partner in crime along the other side of the line is sophomore WR Jaylen Waddle who turned in 104 receptions, 1,015 yards receiving with 6 touchdowns on an average offense. The Cheetah and the Penguin! Pair them with Mike Gesicki who has become one of the best tight ends in the game and Tua has got some really fun toys to play with!
Not to mention that Miami also brought in former Cowboy Cedrick Wilson to play in the slot with these other top flight play makers. Oh yea, another thing! New head coach and former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel brought in RB Raheem Mostert and WR Trent Sherfield from the Niners and Chase Edmonds, a former division foe.
Offense was the key component of the team that the Dolphins decison makers had been focusing on over the past couple of months. When you're in the same division as Josh Allen and the never count out crafty Bill Belichick and his Patriots, you need to make sure you can have an offense that can keep up with the firepower of the Buffalo Bills.
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It's not just the AFC East either! Joe Burrow just took the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Lamar Jackson and his starting teammates will be back and healthy for the 2022 season and in the same division, the Browns with the acquisition of DeShaun Watson has turned Cleveland into a true contender. Then you still have to deal with the #1 seed from 2021 in the Tennesee Titans who added more offense in Robert Woods and Austin Hooper. Matt Ryan is now with the Colts! And the entire AFC West is just wicked!
If the Dolphins are going to contend for a playoff spot in 2022, then two things need to happen. First is don't get off to a (1 - 7) start! Secondly is to allow Tua Tagovailoa to grow into this new offense with these new players and create a scheme that sets up the quarterback for success. When a QB has weapons like Tua has, his main job is to not turn over the ball and get the ball into your play makers hands quickly. Between Hill, Waddle and Wilson, the Miami Dolphins will likely set an NFL record for wide receiver screen passes.
The point of this article is to help football fans understand that the Dolphins have provided Tua with a Pro Bowl roster and his job is to not f&*k it up! Don't turn over the football. Make smart decisions like throwing the ball away to avoid a sack or take a sack instead of just getting the ball out of his hands. Tua's statistics are nothing significant to analyze at the moment because we need to see him play a full season.
In Tua's rookie year, the team gave him the nod after week 7 that he would take over for a disgruntled Ryan Fitzpatrick. It's been Tua's team since as he led Miami to a (6 - 3) record as the starter and showing some real promise. He threw 11 TD's and 5 INT's so we know he's not a guy who will blow you away with big numbers. But he is efficient and more than just a game manager. The following season in a loss against divison rival Buffalo Bills, Tua fractured his finger keeping him on the sidleine for five games. He threw for 16 TD's but the INT's went up to ten in 12 games started. When he played the Dolphins were (7 - 5) and ended last season on a roll which nearly landed them in the playoffs after such a horrific start.
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The question is, does Tua have what it takes to lead the Miami Dolphins to a championship? I say he can but he needs a lot of help around him which he does and the Dolphins knew this and knowing they're "stuck" with Tua that they may as well go all in and acquire as much talent as possible. Miami also brought in OL Connor Williams to help protect Tua but the big move on the offensive line was signing free agent Terron Armstead who was considered the best free agent on the O-Line.
So the feel around South Beach is this is a make it or break it year for Tua Tagovailoa. I somehwhat disagree as he'll be learning a new offense with new players but one would assume all this talent should mesh together by mid-season. That part I agree with considering there will be a full off season of workouts and inter-squad match ups to get their feet wet. Unlike many other teams, we should see a lot of the Dolphins 1st team offense once pre-season begins in late August.
I view Tua a little bit more favorably than others. I know he can throw the long ball but the Dolphins offense didn't go downfield too often. That should change with the game breaking speed of Tyreek Hill. Tua is accurate throwing the football with an average of over 66% completion rate. He's not the fastest quarterback in the league but he is athletic and can move around the pocket and scrmable out of it. But let's make no mistake here. Tua has to show that he can stay healthy for a full 17 game regular season schedule and make some strides with his statistics.
But the ultimate statistic is winning! The Miami Dolphins put this football team together to work on Tua's strengths. The Dolphins have more offensive power now since the days of Dan, Duper and Clayton. There is no excuse as Tua enters his 3rd year in the National Football League. I believe Tua has the goods and he's got a lot of greats to work with. I also think bringing in Teddy Bridgewater as the backup QB was a very solid move given his veteran mind and physical abilit. There's also the history of injury even going back to college at Alabama. If Tua doesn't make significant progress and get this team to the post season, then you can bet Miami will be looking around and making phone calls to replace the once 5th overall pick in the NFL draft.