Is 2022 Really Tua Tagovailoa’s Last Chance to Prove Himself?
Tyreek Hill, the Miami Dolphins’ prized off-season acquisition, made waves on July 9 when, on an episode of his “It Needed to Be Said” podcast, he spoke about Miami third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Hill spoke highly of Tua Tagovailoa but made one specific comment that had NFL analysts talking on Monday.
“In the NFL, they only give you like two or three years to be a successful quarterback, especially if you’re a first-round draft pick,” Hill noted. “And if you don’t succeed after those years, then it’s kick rocks, man. So, basically, they’re going to put Tua Tagovailoa into that. So this is basically his last year, man, just to show people what he’s got.”
Technically, he’s not wrong, but it’s a strange comment to make about a player’s own quarterback, especially from a guy coming into a new team. But context is key and Hill did previously note that “reporters, analysts, Twitter trolls … are gonna take their words back on what they said about [Tua].
Tua Tagovailoa Hasn’t Shown Much Through Two Seasons
Although he’s dealt with injuries, Tua still hasn’t looked near as dynamic as the player he was at the University of Alabama against lesser competition. The fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, despite a 13-8 record as a starter, has 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions to go along with 4,467 passing yards through 23 games.
While perception suggests he had a better season last year (6-3 record with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions), he actually had a lower completion percentage, yards per completion, and QBR.
To his credit, a lot of those numbers are hindered by a slow start. Miami won seven of the last eight games of the season in which Tua played.
Will Hill Help?
Hill, one of the league’s best, fastest, and most dynamic wide receivers, should help Tua Tagovailoa elevate his game to the next level, but the third-year quarterback will need to show more than quick check downs with Hill.
Another year of progression for Jaylen Waddle should be another bonus for Tua Tagovailoa. He’ll also have the reliable Mike Gesicki at tight end as well as new signing Cedrick Wilson Jr.
Regardless of whether or not he truly helps Tua Tagovaiola become an elite quarterback, Hill has definitely made the Dolphins a legitimate threat in the AFC East. Miami, which gave up five draft picks for Hill, jumped quickly in Super Bowl odds from +5000 to +3000 immediately after the trade. The team also bolstered its offensive line.
The Dolphins are now +4000 at most sportsbooks and +3500 at some. Those are attractive odds if Hill really does help Tua Tagovailoa become an elite quarterback. A quick start to begin the 2022 NFL season, say a 3-0 start, would certainly shorten the Dolphins odds, so it might be best to get in now if you’re all in on the Tyreek-Tua duo.
That said, Miami begins the season against the Patriots, Ravens, and Bills. They then play the Bengals, but have easier opponents later in the season.