Chris Grier: Tua Tagovailoa is doing everything he can to be great

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is working to take his game to the next level. And the Dolphins are happy about that.

“You’ve got to give him all the credit,” G.M. Chris Grier told reporters on Tuesday regarding Tua’s decision to work with a private quarterback coach this year. “He is just like last offseason when he attacked to stay healthy and doing the jiujitsu or judo, whichever one, but he’s just — watching him work and how he wants to be great. He took all this stuff on his own and told us what he was going to do, so you’ve got to give him all the credit on that.”

He went from adding weight last year to losing some weight this year. Grier was asked whether that was something the team wanted him to do.

“I think this again is to his credit,” Grier said. “He’s trying to do everything he can to do what he can to be great. And that’s been from Day One when Mike [McDaniel] and him connected here, working through the first season and then making the changes offseason, working through last year, staying healthy, leading the league in passing and now this is his next evolution. As Mike has told you guys, we feel like there is a whole other step that he can take, so we’re excited about his future.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Tua is doing the things he believes the team wants him to do, without the team expressly telling him to do them. And Tua seems to be picking up, and acting on, the cues from the team as to the things they think he needs to do to get to the next level.

For both sides, the future consists of one more year under contract. The question is whether the Dolphins will give him a long-term deal before the 2024 season begins, or whether they need to see where he is and how far he has come before making a long-term commitment.

They have the franchise tag at their disposal for 2025. Still, at some point they need to make a financial gesture that converts their words to tangible action.

The challenge continues to be finding the right number for that. Where in the continuum of quarterback contracts does Tua fit? If the two sides agreed on that, they’d already have a deal.

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