With a brand new head coach in place, the plan is to build a winner around Tagovailoa and his strengths. However, following the Dolphins’ recent addition of QB Teddy Bridgewater, questions surrounding the legitimacy of said plan are starting to arise.
The addition of Bridgewater is a direct slap to the face of Tagovailoa. He’s spent most of his NFL career staving off backups fighting for his job. Now, right when he thought he had finally secured the confidence of his team, it looks like he’s going to have to do it again.
It’s important to note that the Dolphins are signing Bridgewater as a backup quarterback. New head coach Mike McDaniel stressed the importance of having a good QB2 on the roster when he was first hired, and Bridgewater has spent time as a backup in the past.
However, that doesn’t mean all is well in the Dolphins locker room. Bridgewater has been a starting-caliber quarterback for several years now and has a 33-30 career record when he starts. He’s going to have some fans in the Miami locker room, and he’s definitely going to have some fans within the Miami media, who have been highly critical of Tagovailoa since he was drafted.
So having Bridgewater as a backup for the Dolphins, Isn’t going to come without controversy. now that the Dolphins have a strong backup quarterback on the roster, the leash that Tagovailoa will be afforded during the regular season just got significantly shorter.
If the Dolphins start off 1-7 like they did in 2021, one can only assume Miami will be quick to pull the plug on Tagovailoa, turning things over to the more reliable veteran in Bridgewater.
Whether Bridgewater wants the starting job or not, Tagovailoa will spend much of the year worrying about being replaced if he struggles — just like he did in 2020 and 2021.
The Dolphins have already shown their hand when it comes to Tagovailoa. The owner wanted Joe Burrow during the 2020 NFL Draft. He was also heavily interested in Deshaun Watson at last year’s trade deadline.
The Dolphins may be touting their belief in Tua now, but their investment into another high-profile backup suggests otherwise. This feels like an insurance move by the Dolphins in case Tagovaolia fails to take that next step in 2022.