Tua Tagovailoa not 'concerned' about contract situation, but wants something done; Hill talks future

Tue, Jun 4, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Tua Tagovailoa not 'concerned' about contract situation, but wants something done; Hill talks future

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Tua Tagovailoa searched for the words to describe how he feels about his current contract situation with the Miami Dolphins.

Frustrated? Concerned?

"Not frustrated, but I'm another word," Tagovailoa said Tuesday at the Dolphins' first day of mandatory minicamp.

After a brief pause, Tagovailoa lifted his shoulders in a slight shrug.

"Just wanting to get something done," he conceded, "That's it ... Antsy might be a good word."

Tagovailoa is entering the final year of his rookie deal and looking to join several other quarterbacks in his 2020 draft class who have signed lucrative contracts. He will play on a $23.1 million fifth-year option in 2024 if a deal is not reached.

Dolphins manager Chris Grier wants to keep Tagovailoa in Miami long term.

"We've been in communication since the offseason began," Grier said in February. "Our goal is to try and get something done. ... We'll see. There is no timeline on it. At the end of the day, you know how these deals get done. They are complicated deals."

Tagovailoa's draft-mates Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts all reset the quarterback market with their extensions last year. Lions quarterback Jared Goff just secured a four-year, $212 million contract in May that will pay him $53 million a year - around the amount that Tagovailoa will likely get with his new deal.

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Tagovailoa said there's been progress made between his agent and the Dolphins, but he has paid attention to other quarterback deals.

"I'm not blind to people that are in my position that are getting paid," said Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in 2020. "Am I concerned about it? I'm not concerned about it, but there's a lot of discussion that we've had that we just are trying to move that thing into the right direction where we can both be happy."

Tagovailoa is coming off his best season, both statistically and health-wise.

He led the NFL with 4,624 yards passing in 2023, while also setting career highs in completion rate (69%) and touchdown passes (29). He also played an entire season for the first time in his career as he bulked up his frame last offseason to better withstand the hits he takes on the field. He started 17 games after only averaging 11 starts his first three seasons.

"I think to expect the same if not more growth within your game from each year, I don't think is crazy," Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said of Tagovailoa during OTAs. "I think for us to expect just as much if not more from Year 2 to Year 3 (in this system) is very safe for our expectations, and I know he feels the same way, too."

Tagovailoa showed up to offseason workouts much thinner than he was last year. He declined to specify how much weight he's lost but said his goal is to extend plays more in the pocket.

His teammates have noticed his work and have vouched for him to get an extension.

"Tua should've been paid," said receiver Tyreek Hill. "I've been saying this all offseason. ... A lot of people are comparing the Jared Goff situation. I feel like Tua is supposed to be up there with some of those guys and past some of those guys."

Hill's Future

Hill's agent Drew Rosenhaus said he has been in communication with Miami's front office this offseason as the NFL's top receivers reset the market.

Minnesota receiver Justin Jefferson became the latest when he agreed on Monday to a four-year extension that's the richest contract in the NFL for a non-quarterback. Jefferson will get $110 million guaranteed in the deal that's worth as much as $140 million.

"I certainly have a fluid line of communication with them," Rosenhaus said during an appearance on South Florida TV station WSVN, "and I've shared with them how Tyreek feels. ... Without getting into anymore specifics, the Dolphins know how we feel."

The Dolphins made Hill the highest-paid receiver in NFL history when they acquired him from Kansas City in 2022 and gave the three-time All-Pro wide receiver a $120 million, four-year contract extension.

Hill's annual salary of around $30 million makes him the fourth-highest paid receiver in the NFL. Jefferson leads the way with $35 million, Eagles receiver A.J. Brown makes $32 million and Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Lions makes $30 million and $2,500.

Hill led the NFL in yards receiving last year with 1,799 and had a league-high 13 touchdown catches. He indicated after Tuesday's practice that he would like a new contract, but is letting his agent handle the details.

"His job is to be great at that, and my job is to come out here and continue to do whatever I can to help this team win," Hill said. "Whether that's a restructure, whatever the case may be. We want to make sure it benefits both sides, and I want to be able to help the team as much as I can."

He added that his top priority is making sure he's in Miami for the rest of his career.

"I want to be able to help the team as much as I can," Hill said, "and obviously we know being greedy (doesn't) help the team."

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ALANIS THAMES Thames is an Associated Press sports writer based in Miami. She previously covered sports for the New York Times. "
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