The Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick, but that doesn’t mean they have to rush him in 2020.
Before Joe Burrow stole the show last season, the “Tank for Tua” slogan was what teams in the cellar of the league clung to. The Miami Dolphins essentially invented the slogan, and then watched as it seemingly slipped away from them with each inexplicable win the team earned in 2019.
Nevertheless, the Dolphins still landed their guy, drafting Tua with the fifth pick this year. His injury during his final season at Alabama scared some teams, but not Miami. They still wanted him as their future signal-caller and now the franchise seems to have the hope it so desperately sought.
That’s exactly why Miami should be in absolutely no hurry to rush Tua into the starting job.
For one, Tua’s injury took him out for the rest of his collegiate season, and even though his surgery was deemed a success, hip injuries are no joke. Throwing Tua into the deep end of the pool makes absolutely no sense given the Dolphins have a perfect timeline laid out in front of them to become contenders in the near future.
Miami has the luxury to rest Tua, as Fitzpatrick can start for the team until further notice. The Dolphins can implement the same strategy the Kansas City Chiefs utilized with Patrick Mahomes where they let their first round rookie quarterback stroll on the sidelines for an entire season and then hand him the keys to the offense after his first year.
It worked out well for the Chiefs considering they won a Super Bowl and Mahomes is now the richest athlete in all of sports. That’s not to say it’ll be the same result for Tua and the Dolphins, but considering he’s still recovering from hip surgery and the Dolphins have a fine quarterback on their roster already, there’s no need for Miami to rush the Tua Timeline.
Going back to the Chiefs, they did have Mahomes start their final game of the 2017 season due to already being in the playoffs and not being able to move up or down in the seedings. That could be something Miami looks to do near the end of the season if they don’t have much to play for anyway.
Lest we forget, this season doesn’t count like the other ones have anyway. The COVID-19 pandemic has truncated the offseason and the weird nature of the season should give the Dolphins even more incentive to keep Tua away from action until his body and the state of the world get back to normal.
For a team that seemed to be flounder without a plan and even less hope, all of a sudden there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Staying the course and not rushing Tua is the bare minimum that can be done to ensure the future is bright in Miami, and it’s the biggest cog in a plan that could turn the Dolphins from a laughing stock into a contender a lot sooner than we all thought.