Dolphins’ trades show confidence in their QB, but Tua Tagovailoa felt the support long before – The Denver Post


The Miami Dolphins made a statement with their trade for standout edge rusher Bradley Chubb, sending away their remaining first-round pick in the 2023 draft. They’re all in on competing and winning now.

And for Tua Tagovailoa, it’s a testament to the belief the franchise has in him as its long-term solution at quarterback.

The 2023 draft capital was once vital to the organization in case it needed to make a move for another quarterback. Tagovailoa’s play, leading the NFL in passer rating (112.7) and winning all five games he has started and finished, combined with the Dolphins having to forfeit one of the two first-rounders they once held, made them comfortable shipping away the other for established help in another area.

On the outside, this move makes it clear the Dolphins believe in Tagovailoa going forward. But Tagovailoa felt that support going back before the season when much of the narrative was how it was a make-or-break season for the third-year quarterback.

“I felt supported before all of that,” said Tagovailoa on Wednesday, reacting to the Tuesday deals. “I felt supported from the time [coach Mike McDaniel] came in, getting guys like Tyreek [Hill].”

This isn’t some new feeling for McDaniel or general manager Chris Grier either.

“From the get-go, I’ve fully seen Tua as our quarterback for this team and this franchise. I think he’s an unbelievable talent,” McDaniel said. “It’s not something that we all of a sudden rethought after he had a good game. This is something that, since I’ve been here, we’ve kind of known.”

Said Grier: “Very, very happy with how Tua’s playing and what he’s done for us. It’s been really exciting to watch him blossom on and off the field.”

Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill feels justified in all the admiration he expressed for Tagovailoa over the offseason.

“I feel like he’s playing at a tremendous level,” Hill said. “He’s making me look right about everything I said about him in the offseason.”

Tagovailoa is coming off arguably the best game of his career, going 29 of 36 for 382 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. At 5-3 and adding talent, Tagovailoa is not shying away from proclaiming that this Dolphins team can make a run at a Super Bowl.

“We’re not afraid to talk about Super Bowls here,” he said. “We’re not afraid to talk about going to a playoff game, having an opportunity to go to one and then hopefully winning one. … I have full belief that we are capable.”

Player reaction

Dolphins players had glowing remarks about the pair of moves Miami made at the deadline in trading for Chubb and running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

“I think it’s awesome,” said outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who stands to complement Chubb well opposite him. “I think the more pieces we have on the defense, the more successful we can be, so it’s great to have a guy like that. I’ll definitely lean into him and try to get some advice with pass rushing and stuff like that.”

Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert was happy to be reunited with his former backfield mate with the San Francisco 49ers.

“I remember when he came in undrafted and didn’t know if he was going to make the team,” Mostert said.

“Me and him sat in my car and talked a little bit, because I’m an undrafted guy as well, and now look at us. We’re both still playing in the league. I gave him some words of encouragement at the time and told him, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, bro. You’re going to be good.’ And now, it’s paying off.”

Mostert also felt for fellow running back Chase Edmonds, who was dealt to Denver in the trade for Chubb.

“I built a strong bond with him,” he said, “and it’s always difficult when you see a teammate, a brother of yours be traded to a different team. I hope the best for him.”

Rowe’s status

Dolphins veteran safety Eric Rowe tweeted, “I’m just as shocked too…” when the team made him inactive for last Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions, despite starting safety Brandon Jones being out.

“Just like I tweeted, I was shocked,” Rowe told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Wednesday. “I know how this business kind of works, being in the league for a while. You just got to push forward with it.”

The explanation Rowe received?

“The same thing Mike [McDaniel] said,” Rowe said.

McDaniel was not asked by reporters about making Rowe inactive between postgame Sunday, his Monday press conference or Wednesday morning session, but the CBS broadcast Sunday said the decision had to do with special teams.

Rowe is hopeful to see action in other matchups going forward.

“I just prepare like I’m going to be out there,” Rowe said. “It’s a new week, new team.”

Wednesday updates

The Dolphins had six players miss practice: Tackles Terron Armstead (toe) and Austin Jackson (ankle/calf), cornerback Xavien Howard (veteran rest), outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (vet rest), wide receiver River Cracraft (illness) and defensive tackle John Jenkins (personal).

Miami signed offensive lineman Lamont Gaillard to its practice squad. Gaillard has played 13 NFL games with two starts for the Arizona Cardinals in 2020. He is a Georgia alum who was a sixth-round draft pick in 2019.



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