As has often been the case since the Miami Dolphins selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Tua Tagovailoa is generating a lot of conversation these days.
We break down the latest topics:
Two weeks after he was visible for his promotional work with Verizon during Super Bowl week, Tagovailoa was back on social media this past weekend.
This time, he posted pictures of himself working out with the simple word, "Work."
There's nothing particularly unusual about any player working out toward the end of February as practically every player in the NFL at some point around this time amps up conditioning work in preparation for the upcoming season.
It's just that in 2021 a lot of players use social media to offer evidence of their workouts to their fans.
Soon enough, we can expect Tagovailoa to get together with some of his receivers to run some pass plays, particularly with the status of offseason practices up in the air.
It's also safe to assume one or more of the players involved in those workouts will be posted pictures or videos on social media.
Tight end Mike Gesicki offered some lofty praise for Tagovailoa while doing a Q&A with a fan as part of Penn State's THON, a 46-hour dance marathon run by PSU students to raise money to fight childhood cancer.
Gesicki's words came in answer to a question as to whether there was an adjustment needed in catching passes from Tagovailoa because he's a lefty.
THON raised more than $10 million this weekend.
WHAT A TRADE MIGHT LOOK LIKE
If we're talking Tua in the 2021 offseason, we have to mention Deshaun Watson because — like it or not — that conversation won't end until a resolution in the Watson-Texans saga has been reached.
King presented five hypothetical trade scenarios, and one of them involved the Dolphins.
In his suggested trade, the Dolphins would acquire Watson in exchange for Tagovailoa, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, the third overall pick in the 2021 draft, a first-round pick in 2023, and second-round picks in 2021 and 2022.
"Advantage for Miami," King wrote, "is the deal would leave the Dolphins with first-round and second-round picks this year and their first next year while giving them a quarterback to play on equal footing with Josh Allen in the AFC East for the next decade."
While this is purely conjecture and the Texans remain adamant they're not trading Watson, as King writes, it does offer an idea of what kind of price it would take to land Watson.
THE NORTON COMPARISON
When another national writer, this time Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated, suggested the Dolphins should evaluate all the quarterbacks in the 2021 draft and take one with the third overall pick if they decide he represents an upgrade over Tagovailoa, we mentioned two precedents around the NFL of teams taking quarterbacks in the top 10 in consecutive years.
We did not mention, however, what the Dolphins did in 1966-67 when they selected Rick Norton second overall in 1966 and then took Bob Griese with the fourth overall selection in 1967.
There was an important difference there, which is why we didn't include it as a precedent, and it's the fact that Norton was the second overall pick in the AFL draft.
Norton signed with the Dolphins that year after also being selected in the NFL draft, but in the second round (by the Cleveland Browns).
The AFL and NFL began combining for one draft in 1967 and the leagues merged in 1970.
The Dolphins took Griese after Norton played seven games with two starts as a rookie in 1966 and completed only 38.2 percent of his passes with a 27.0 passer rating. Norton started nine games over the next three seasons before being waived in 1970, while Griese went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
It also should be noted that while Tagovailoa had a brilliant college career at Alabama, Norton posted mediocre numbers at Kentucky. In his three seasons there, Norton failed to complete 50 percent of his passes and had 26 touchdowns against 44 interceptions.
The two teams who did take a quarterback in the top 10 of the NFL draft were the Baltimore Colts in 1982-83 with Art Schlichter and John Elway and the Arizona Cardinals in 2018-19 with Josh Rosen and Kyler Murray.
Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @apoupartFins.
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