Lamar Jackson set the NFL world on fire earlier today when he tweeted that he formally requested a trade on March 2nd. This once again prompted fans of QB-needy teams to vouch as to why their respective team should trade for the former MVP.
A letter to my Fans
I want to first thank you all for all of the love and support you consistently show towards me. All of you are amazing and I appreciate y’all so much. I want you all to know not to believe everything you read about me. Let me personally answer your questions
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) March 27, 2023
Naturally, some Dolphins fans were a part of this group, wishing to bring the Broward county product home to play for the Dolphins. Much to the surprise of Dolphins fans, newly acquired safety DeShon Elliot (in a since-deleted tweet) called for his former teammate to take his talents to South Beach.
#Dolphins Safety DeShon Elliott is recruiting Lamar Jackson to come to Miami.
The Dolphins just picked up Tua's 5th-year option… probably wasn't an ideal tweet by Elliott. pic.twitter.com/zwcXFzDRCD
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 27, 2023
Lamar Jackson is obviously a fantastic player, but it would be a mistake for the Dolphins to trade for Jackson.
Before the team picked up Tua’s 5th-year option, you could not go a day without hearing about how the Dolphins could not pick up Tua’s option, much less commit to him long-term, due to his injury history. While these are valid questions about Tua that can only be answered in the upcoming season, Lamar Jackson has missed more time due to injury than Tua over the past two seasons.
Since the start of the 2021 season, Lamar Jackson has missed ten games due to ankle and knee injuries, along with three more due to illness and a back injury. So, in short, the Dolphins would be pivoting off of Tua for a running quarterback who has missed more time over the past two seasons due to lingering leg injuries.
This is before even considering other factors, such as what the Dolphins would have to give up to acquire Lamar Jackson. To even open negotiations with the Ravens, the Dolphins would have to offer up two first-round picks: meaning they would have to wait until after this upcoming draft to open up negotiations. The Dolphins would then have to use their draft capital in a similar manner as they did when they acquired Tyreek Hill: only this time, they do not have a treasure trove filled with extra draft picks.
Then they, of course, would have to meet Lamar’s financial demands of a contract somewhere in the area of $200M at the least. So not only would they be out of draft picks again, but they would also put themselves in a position with little wiggle room in terms of cap space, something less than ideal with star defensive lineman Christian Wilkins still in need of an extension, as well as looming extensions for Jaylen Waddle and Jevon Holland.
Another fact to consider is that Lamar Jackson is 0-2 against Tua Tagovailoa and was outperformed by the lefty each time, with Tua only needing one-half of football to do so in their first meeting. Tua also outperformed and beat the former MVP just this past season, with the southpaw throwing for six touchdowns and leading a 21-point 4th-comeback. It can also be argued that Tua performed better than Lamar overall this past season when the two were healthy.
Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on QB Tua Tagovailoa's potential for next season: "I can see a hunger in him"https://t.co/9I7mfdqVVv pic.twitter.com/Tu5I8VZFcv
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) March 27, 2023
Mike McDaniel just today reaffirmed his confidence in the young quarterback and spoke about Tua’s apparent hunger for more success in his second season under McDaniel’s tutelage. And why wouldn’t both parties be excited about their second season together? When Tua was on the field in 2022, the Dolphins’ offense was potent enough to have Tua in the MVP discussion and McDaniel in the Coach of the Year discussion. With the upcoming summer to build more chemistry and finetune the offense: there is no reason to doubt that the Dolphins’ offense will be better next season.
I understand the allure of Lamar Jackson, but the grass is not always greener on the other side. Tua Tagovailoa performed incredibly well when he was on the field last season, and if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the Dolphins’ quarterback of the future.