Expect the New Orleans Saints to be linked to every single semi-available quarterback this offseason. The most recent rumor concerns Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, who may be rather hastily pushed out the door in Miami.
In another edition of “Who could possible start at quarterback for the Saints in 2022,” Tagovailoa poses as an option. Not a particularly desirable one, just an option.
NBC Sports’ Josh Schrock named eight of his boldest offseason quarterback predictions, tying up loose ends for QB-needy franchises like the Steelers, Bucs, and Commanders.
For the Saints, Schrock paired the team with Dolphins’ disgruntled Tua Tagovailoa in a somewhat surprising offseason move:
"New Orleans has some cap issues, no quarterback, and needs at least a half reboot. Trading for a talented quarterback on a rookie contract is a good way to start that semi-rebuild. Dolphins get a second and a third for Tua and call it a day. Dennis Allen has his guy. At least it’s not Taysom Hill?"
While Tua’s time with the Dolphins isn’t definitively over, the second-year signal-caller doesn’t have a sure future in Miami, either.
New Orleans Saints could acquire Tua Tagovailoa in a surprising offseason move
Since he was picked No. 5 overall in 2020 draft, Tagovailoa hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much success as his peers like Bengals’ Joe Burrow or Chargers’ Justin Herbert. Once hailed as a franchise cornerstone for Miami, Tagovailoa has averaged 44.8 and 49.7 quarterback ratings in his first two NFL seasons.
In two years, Tagovailoa has posted a 13-8 career winning record but has thrown 27 touchdowns against 15 interceptions and failed to reach the postseason. Not all the blame should be placed on him for the team’s struggles, but Tagovailoa may have reached his ceiling in a Dolphins franchise that’s clearly shaking up the pieces after firing head coach Brian Flores.
One team’s scraps is…another team’s unsatisfying meal? Beggars can’t be choosers, and at this point the Saints may be considering every option from Tom Brady to Blake Bortles. Two extremes, we know.
When compared to Jameis Winston, Tagovailoa doesn’t really add anything revolutionary. Winston has a higher pass completion rate; Tagovailoa has a lower interception rate. Miami had a considerably worse offensive line in the past two years, though, so it’s difficult to say whether Tagovailoa will find success in NOLA’s offensive scheme.
In Miami and New Orlean’s sole meeting in 2021, Tagovailoa did lead the Dolphins to a 20-3 victory, albeit against rookie Ian Book and a heavily injured Saints team. Grains of salt everywhere.
In any case, Tagovailoa joins Jimmy G, Teddy Bridgewater, Gardner Minshew, and other hand-me-down quarterbacks on the carousel this offseason. Choose carefully, if you must.