Dolphins Saturday Mailbag: Tua, Trevor and More

What's the best guess on a Tua contract extension? Can Ethan Bonner eventually become a starter? Tackling those and other Miami Dolphins issues
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws the football during mandatory minicamp at Baptist Health Training Complex.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws the football during mandatory minicamp at Baptist Health Training Complex. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Part 1 of a Father's Day weekend Miami Dolphins mailbag:

From Reza Hariri (@Therealrezpect1):

I think Miami has a better team today than last season with a blend of rookies & vets. True, we lost some good players but with money saved we added quality & quality. Maybe we need 1 more OL or DB. Thoughts?

Hey Reza, the Dolphins have done a very solid job of replenishing the roster this offseason after they lost Wilkins, Hunt, Van Ginkel, Howard and Baker. And I probably would agree with you the Dolphins could use another offensive lineman and DB (preferably a cornerback) to really round out this roster.

From Charles Boyd (@Charlie00WB):

Alain, what are the Dolphins doing in order to build the capability to win cold-weather games?

Hey Charles, I don’t know how to answer that because there really haven’t been any moves made where you could say it specifically was done to have more success in cold weather. I think the Dolphins believe they have the right personnel and right approach and simply just need to execute better.

From Brett Campbell (@newbreed_1990):

Hi Alain, I’m not sold on Tua, but is it more Tua struggling in “big games” or McDaniel getting out-coached? I don’t see many in-game adjustments when good defenses & coaches make halftime adjustments. McDaniel becomes too one-dimensional & it forces Tua to have to be Superman.

Hey Brett, could it be a combination of both? I do think Tua’s level of play has to come up in “big games,” and McDaniel maybe has to become more willing to try different things and go outside his comfort zone a bit more.

From Lets Go Finz (@LetsGoFinz):

Who would you take to start a franchise? Trevor Lawrence or Tua?

I might be wrong about this, and I know this isn't going to go over well, but you asked and I'll answer: I’d take Lawrence. I think he has more upside, needs less around him to succeed and is more built to last. And I do understand that Tua has much better stats over the past two seasons, but I’m looking big picture. Lastly, I also think the vast majority of the national media would agree with me on this.

From Sean Beachem (@beachbob1):

Thanks for the time, Alain. With the Lawrence signing, what would be your best guess on a Tua contract, assuming he signs this offseason? Would you do it this offseason or wait?

Hey Sean, I have said on many occasions that I believe the best move from an organizational standpoint is to have Tua play on the fifth-year option and revisit the situation next offseason after we get another season of evaluation, including most notably whether he can clear the obstacle of performing against playoff opponents. As for what his contract might look like, I would think it would look a lot like what Goff and Lawrence got, with maybe a little less guaranteed money.

From Ed Helinski (@MrEd315):

In your opinion, which wide receivers will make the 53-man opening day roster? Might there be any surprises?

Hey Ed, I did a roster projection last week and had a very hard time cutting down at wide receiver. I think Hill, Waddle, Beckham and Malik Washington are almost givens, and then there will be two spots among Ekukanma, Berrios, Cracraft and Tahj Washington. I might end up changing my mind several times on the final two (the Dolphins aren’t keeping seven), but as of now I’m thinking maybe Berrios and Cracraft get the final two spots.

From Artie (@SoFlaArthur):

After the TLaw contract, are the Dolphins going to be pressured to get Tua’s contract done sooner rather than later??

Hey Artie, the Dolphins knew at the start of the offseason that Goff might get a new contract, that Lawrence might get an extension and now that Jordan Love also might get an extension and maybe even Dak Prescott. There is no more pressure now than there was at the start of the offseason.

From Prince-Bishop Militantly Aardvark (@MilitantlyA):

Well, Obi Wan Poupart, I called out in desperation and you provided the necessary players. How are you on lottery numbers? Joking aside, you obviously think our chance of a championship improved. Where do we rank now as contenders?

Hey PBMA, if I’m looking at the AFC, K.C. remains the team to beat, and then I still think the Bills, Ravens and Bengals come next, with the Dolphins among the next group with the Texans, Browns and, yes, the Jets.

From Fins Broke My Heart (@@Phinzup44):

If we decide to tag Tua, and not pay these astronomical amounts, do you see him holding out in the regular season?

Tua is under contract for the 2024 season, so holding out would get very expensive very quickly. Now, he also could “hold in” during training camp and refuse to take part in certain drills. That could cause some problems in terms of the team getting ready for the start of the season and the question is whether Tua would be willing to go that route if he doesn’t his extension.

From Luis Rodriguez (Elfrijo3232):

Hi Alain, do you think the Fins went after Brewer BECAUSE of his size? This way Tua doesn’t have to guess when he throws in the middle and can actually see where he’s throwing. Thanks.

Hey Luis, no, I don’t believe that. Truth is there’s not a huge difference between a 6-1 center and a 6-3 center in terms of Tua being able to see in the middle of the field. The Dolphins did like Brewer’s mobility because it’s important for the scheme they run and that was the appeal.

From Dan K. (via email):

Is Needham's move to safety due to him losing a step from his injury? Is Ethan Bonner a potential starter at some point? In your article about who wore the number 86 the best, you saluted Oronde Gadsen's hands as perhaps the Dolphins’ best ever. The two guys who didn't get enough “love” were O.J. McDuffie and Jimmy Cefalo. I don't remember O.J. ever dropping a pass and Cefalo dropped like one in his entire career. They were both money in the bank.

Hey Daniel, Needham never was a burner as a cornerback, so I’m not sure the move to safety, which might not even be permanent was more about making him more valuable with position flexibility than anything else. It’s still too early to tell whether Bonner is starter material in the NFL, but he’ll definitely be a player to watch in camp. As for best hands, I don’t think anybody has ever left out McDuffie among the team’s all-time best because it’s a fact. I don’t recall Cefalo hands standing out one way or the other, though I don’t recall dropped passes, either. So I wouldn’t argue with you there.

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Alain Poupart


Alain Poupart is the publisher/editor of All Dolphins and co-host of the All Dolphins Podcast. Alain has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989 for various publications and media outlets, including Dolphin Digest, The Associated Press, the Dolphins team website, and the Fan Nation Network (part of Sports Illustrated). In addition to being a credentialed member of the Miami Dolphins press corps, Alain has covered three Super Bowls (for, Football News and the Montreal Gazette), the annual NFL draft, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL Scouting Combine. During his almost 40 years in journalism, which began at the now-defunct Miami News, Alain has covered practically every sport at one time or another, from tennis to golf, baseball, basketball and everything in between. The career also included time as a copy editor, including work on several books such as "Still Perfect," an inside look at the Miami Dolphins' 1972 perfect season. A native of Montreal, Canada, whose first language is French, Alain grew up a huge hockey fan but soon developed a love for all sports, including NFL football. He has lived in South Florida since the 1980s.