The Miami Dolphins were in the crosshairs of the NFL on Tuesday as the league punished the organization by docking them multiple draft picks — including a 2023 first round pick — after an investigation showed they tampered with Tom Brady and Sean Payton. Owner Stephen Ross was also suspended until Oct. 17.
The investigation concluded that the Dolphins engaged in “impermissible communications” with Brady as early as August of 2019 when he was still a member of the Patriots and again after the 2021 season while he was still under contract with the Buccaneers. Miami also had illegal contact with former Saints coach Sean Payton.
Naturally, that news ran through NFL circles once it was released by the league on Tuesday, including the 2022 version of the Dolphins.
“I would say everyone heard about it yesterday when we went into the locker room, seen it on the TV,” quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told reporters Wednesday, via NFL.com. “For me, I have no idea about all the details other than what was shown on TV with the $1.5 million fine and then something happening with Brady. I mean, I don’t know all the details. I don’t even know what happened. But I got to talk to a couple of the guys to kind of find out what was going on, and everyone’s wondering the same thing. So not too sure.”
Of course, it is fascinating to imagine how differently the landscape would look currently had the Dolphins been successful in their plan while also toeing the rules of the land. That said, Mike McDaniel is now entrenched as the team’s head coach and Tagovailoa remains the starter. While the organization has had a wandering eye for quarterbacks over his tenure, the former first-round pick does believe the team is in his corner.
“I remember I came in in 2020, so whatever happened in 2019, I can’t even speak on that. I was here in 2020, and I’m still here, and I’m blessed to be here,” Tagovailoa said. “If it has to do with support from the team, I think the team’s all-in with me and all the guys that we have now.”
This is something of a make-or-break year for Tagovailoa after the Dolphins surrounded him with talent, including tackle Terron Armstead and wideout Tyreek Hill. If he isn’t able to show that he is the type of signal-caller they can build around for the foreseeable future, they could continue to have their eyes on other QBs.