NFL

Dolphins GM confirms Tua is starting QB for McDaniel, 'door is shut' on Watson

By Sports Desk March 02, 2022

Tua Tagovailoa will be the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins going forward and there will be no trade for Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson, according to general manager Chris Grier.

As Tagovailoa has been inconsistent since the Dolphins selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft, there had been talk Miami would be interested in bringing in a different quarterback. 

Miami did take the first steps towards acquiring Watson last year, with owner Stephen Ross being granted permission to talk to the Texans quarterback.

However, no trade was finalised for Watson, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits that remain unresolved as the NFL conducts its own investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

Mike McDaniel was hired as Miami's new coach early last month after five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, serving last season as the team's offensive coordinator. 

"I think the door is shut on Deshaun," Grier said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"At the end of the day, Mike and the staff have come to do a lot of work and studied Tua and they feel good about his developmental upside, what he can be and then the fit in the offense. I think we're good with Tua."

There are questions about exactly how high a ceiling Tagovailoa has, and Grier was asked whether he thinks he can be an elite quarterback.

"I can't say he can't be," Grier said. "It's a situation now where this will be built around his skill set and what the offense can be and Mike's vision of how he fits.

"So, I wouldn't say he can't be. It's too early. He's played 20 games maybe. The first year was in and out and missing games this year, but I know he's won games even this last year, and it's hard to win games in this league.

"I know people want to say he doesn't throw the ball downfield, but he's incredibly accurate, and that's the real exciting part for Mike and the coaching staff, his accuracy."

Tagovailoa completed 67.8 per cent of his passes last season and threw 16 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. 

"I will say Mike and the offensive staff watched every game, every throw and put together this tape of the roster, and it was pretty cool," Grier said.

"Mike's vision for how Tua fits into this scheme and what he can do, they're all every excited about it.

"So, I think at the end of the day, probably Tua is going to have to come in and work with him and do it on the field, but right now there's a very good comfort level with how they feel he fits into what Mike wants to do with our offense."

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