The Dolphins made a commitment to Tua Tagovailoa this offseason by picking up his fifth-year option, linking the quarterback to Miami for at least the next two seasons. This decision came after what was a highly productive 2022 campaign that saw the quarterback take steps toward being looked at as a legitimate franchise cornerstone. The only wrench that was thrown into the year, however, was Tagovailoa's health, as multiple concussions ultimately forced him out of five games, including the club's playoff loss to Buffalo.
Tagovailoa has since been cleared from concussion protocol and has been preparing to continue his ascent as Miami's QB1, which has been taken notice of by his head coach.
"He's doing great," McDaniel told NFL Media of Tagovailoa. "He's had a really good offseason with his family and training and positioning himself to feel good moving forward. He's very healthy, vibrant, and I can see a hunger in him that I'm excited to watch play out."
The Dolphins were 8-5 with Tagovailoa as the starter last season, and the former first-round pick was particularly efficient throwing the football. He registered a career-high 105.5 passer rating, 8.9 yards per attempt, and a 6.3 touchdown percentage, all of which also led the NFL.
"He's a younger player and he's very honest and candid. But it also gives me a barometer," McDaniel said. "He was doing a lot, he's got a lot of room to grow, let's just say that. He did an unbelievable job being able to lead an offense in year one. That's a new language. This is his first year where he's going to have continued offense, play-caller, and position coach."
On top of getting a healthy Tagovailoa back into the fold for the offseason program and the start of the 2023 season, the Dolphins are ramping up the roster around him to make a more impactful playoff push. The most notable transaction was the trade that landed Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Now, Miami boasts a star-studded defense to pair with its high-flying offense headlined by Tagovailoa and speedy wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Currently, Miami has the third-best odds to win the AFC East in 2023 at +375, looking up at the Bills (+130) and Jets (+180), per Caesars Sportsbook.