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Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback, is expected to return in 2023.

The Miami Dolphins are still reeling from their playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on Monday, but one thing is certain heading into next season.

Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be the Dolphins’ starting quarterback. And his pending contract situation, as well as his health, will be addressed.

“Tua is our starting quarterback…. “We fully expect him to be ready to go next year,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said on Monday, a day after Miami’s season ended with a 34-31 playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

“He is and will be our starting quarterback.”

This season, Tagovailoa suffered two documented concussions and three hits to the back of his head on the field, missing five games, including Miami’s first playoff game since 2016.

But, based on feedback from doctors and consultants monitoring Tagovailoa, Grier and Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel remain optimistic about him.

“I don’t think he’s any more prone than anyone else,” Grier said when asked if Tagovailoa is at risk of further concussions based on his conversations with medical personnel.

“From what we’ve been told, that’s not a problem.”

McDaniel also has several “ideas and thoughts” about how to improve Tagovailoa’s game in order to avoid situations where he might get hurt.

In terms of Tagovailoa’s contract, he will enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2023, earning approximately $4.7 million.

According to OverTheCap.com, a fifth-year option reserved for first-round picks is a possibility this offseason, which could cost Miami at least $22 million.

A contract extension would typically provide greater financial security for NFL players. The Dolphins are understandably concerned about Tagovailoa’s history of head injuries.

“I think everything is on the table for us,” Grier said when asked if he’d consider the fifth-year option.

The Dolphins enter the offseason hoping that the sting of their playoff loss to their heated AFC East rival is forgotten.

The Dolphins started a third-string rookie quarterback and new starters at running back, left guard, right guard, and right tackle in their first playoff game in six seasons and only their third in 20 years.

The Dolphins fell behind 17-0 early, but rallied to take a 24-20 lead in the third quarter before falling short after a fourth-and-1 with 2:29 left resulted in a delay of game penalty.

“We weren’t able to execute in the biggest moment,” McDaniel said, accepting responsibility for the season-ending gaffe. “I was so proud of the entire team for putting us in that situation.”

Tagovailoa returned to the Dolphins after suffering his first concussion on Sept. 29 during a Thursday night game in Cincinnati.

They lost five straight games after that, including a Christmas Day game in which Tagovailoa suffered his second concussion.

And they got the win against the Jets they needed to get a taste of the postseason.

Nonetheless, the Dolphins’ last playoff victory came in 2000.

“We finished where we were, made the playoffs, and had a chance to win a playoff game against one of the best teams in football,” Grier said, reminiscing about the Dolphins’ season. “It is kind of what it is.”

Grier’s perspective stems from his early days as a scout under Bill Parcells.

However, one of Grier’s draught picks is more optimistic about how the Dolphins will look back on this season.

“This organisation hasn’t been in the playoffs in however many years, and we haven’t won a (playoff) game in even longer, so it’s definitely just getting a rep of what we can be, what it feels like, what it looks like, all that,” Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

“I’m already ready to jump ahead to next year and start training and doing the things I need to do because I’m excited for what’s to come in the coming years.”

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