The NFL announced on Thursday that the Miami Dolphins were being stripped of their 2023 first-round pick as well as their 2024 third-round pick. Additionally, Owner Stephen Ross was suspended — kind of — for the first six weeks of the season and fined $1.5 million. All of this comes after Ross and the Dolphins were found to have illegally tampered. Ross attempted to lure Tom Brady away from Tampa Bay and Sean Payton from New Orleans while they were under contract. Miami still owns San Francisco’s first-round pick in 2023; however, the loss of those picks has the potential to be a more devastating loss than we think. Hint: Like everything else, it involves Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins QB plans in 2023.
The Potential Damage
Everyone seems to agree that this is Tua’s last chance to prove he can be a starter; at least in Miami. He has to show that he improved on his weaknesses and has the “it” factor. Specifically, he needs to prove he can be a quarterback who wins late-season games and make throws that he’s struggled to make in the past. His leash is short.
When Miami committed to Tagovailoa in the spring, Miami’s long-term plan seemed fairly clear. If Tagovailoa progresses like they expect him to, they have found their franchise quarterback. If he doesn’t, then the Dolphins have the fire-power to trade-up for a top-tier QB in the draft.
Ohio State QB CJ Stroud and Alabama QB Bryce Young are expected to enter the 2023 draft. Miami would likely have a great interest in both quarterbacks. The power of having two first-round picks was immeasurable in this QB class. Unfortunately, after yet another embarrassing blunder of the Stephen Ross era, that plan has probably gone out the window.
Ross’ mistake has cost the Dolphins a significant draft pick regardless of whether it’s used on a quarterback. Hopefully Tagovailoa proves he can be the Dolphins QB in 2023, and the potential long-term impact of losing the first-round pick is minimized.
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