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The Miami Dolphins are now embarking into the offseason after their playoff run came to a swift end with a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Super Wild Card Weekend. One of the key storylines that will hover over the franchise during these next few months as they prepare for the 2024 campaign is the contractual status of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa

The former first-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie contract after Miami picked up his fifth-year option last offseason, ensuring he'll be under team control through next season. That has him on track to make $23.1 million fully guaranteed, but will be technically set to be a lame-duck quarterback if he and the Dolphins don't come to some sort of extension over the offseason. 

"The goal is to have him here long-term and playing at a high level," general manager Chris Grier told reporters this week about his quarterback. "So that's always the goal and we'll continue and we'll communicate with him throughout the offseason."

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Tagovailoa was drafted by the Dolphins with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Alabama. After a topsy-turvy start to his career, the 25-year-old has reached a new level in his development over the last couple years following the arrival of head coach Mike McDaniel. In the two seasons Tagovailoa has worked with McDaniel, the quarterback has a 102.9 passer rating, completing 67.4% of his throws and averaging 272.4 passing yards per game. He's also thrown 54 touchdowns and 22 interceptions over that 30-game stretch. That includes Tagovailoa leading the league in passing yards this season (4,624). 

If the two sides do come to terms on a deal, that should subdue talk about whether or not Tagovailoa is truly a franchise quarterback. However, if the Dolphins decide to wait on his contract and let him play out 2024 with the security of deploying the franchise tag in 2025, that narrative -- justified or not -- will continue to fester around the club. So, if Grier is convinced Tagovailoa is capable of leading them to a Super Bowl, it'd be best to lock him down in the coming months.