It’s time to focus on the season ahead and not the negotiating table in South Beach.
Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier underscored Wednesday that extension talks with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, along with defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, have been tabled until the offseason arrives.
“I just think for him, it’s just letting Tua play,” Grier told reporters, via team transcript. “Again, those things can be a big distraction. You have family, friends, you guys, everyone constantly asking about it. His agents and I have had discussions, just general but not really about that. We just kind of agreed let’s just let him play out the season and then we’ll attack that in the offseason.”
Grier and the Dolphins picked up Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option in March, and the No. 5 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft is due to make a base salary of $1.01 million this year and $23.17 in 2024.
The Alabama product is coming off his best NFL season so far and his first in head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense. Tagovailoa threw for career highs of 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and a 105.5 rating, but also missed four games and the Dolphins’ wild-card loss to the Bills after suffering multiple head injuries.
With talks now halted until the offseason, the 2023 season is all the more pivotal to Tagovailoa.
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It’s a different situation for Wilkins, as the Dolphins’ 2019 first-rounder is entering the final deal of his rookie contract. Due to make $10.75 million this year, Wilkins’ extension talks fell through. He said Tuesday he’s focused on the season ahead and being a good teammate, but seemed to be open to continued talks.
Grier was rather transparent that any extension conversations would take place after the Dolphins’ 2023 campaign concluded.
“In terms of Christian, we’ve had a lot of great dialogue with him and his agent,” Grier said on Wednesday. “Very positive. We made an offer that we thought was fair. And there’s times when you do things like that, it has to work for both sides. So, there was never any ill-will from each side. I’ve had a lot of great communication. I enjoy his agent. We have good conversations. For right now, we’re going to hold off until, in my mind, at the end of the season, because I don’t think it’s fair to distract Christian from his goal of what he wants to achieve and for the team.”
The attention in Miami is clearly on Sept. 10 when the Dolphins open up against the Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, potential contract extensions for two of Miami’s brightest starts will wait until 2024.
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