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Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa learning to jiu-jitsu to become Dolphins long-term quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa in warmups before Miami Dolphins played Buffalo Bills
Jasen Vinlove - USA Today Sports

When he is healthy, Tua Tagovailoa is one of the best young quarterbacks in pro football.

He led the National Football League for passer rating (105.5) and set career-highs in passing yards (3,548) and touchdown passes (25) last season. Tagovailoa put on a show against the Baltimore Ravens, recording 469 passing yards and six touchdowns in a 42-38 victory over Lamar Jackson. He had three games of 3+ touchdown passes during a five-game winning streak for the Dolphins. Tagovailoa did not toss an interception in those five matchups. He was in the conversation to become the league’s Most Valuable Player until multiple concussions forced him to miss five games. Miami is sold on Tagovailoa as its starter for next fall, but the organization is unsure about him beyond that. The Dolphins are waiting before deciding to exercise the fifth-year option on Tagovailoa’s rookie contract. Miami wants to be sure the native Hawaiian is its signal-caller long term.

Cameron Wolfe, a reporter for NFL Network, said Tagovailoa is learning a mixed martial art to help him stay on the field.

“He is doing jiu-jitsu this offseason to learn how to fall,” Wolfe said about Tagovailoa. “A lot of his injuries the Dolphins believe he had because he had issues falling. They are hoping he learns how to fall so that he stays on the field and proves he can be the Dolphins’ long-term quarterback.”

Tagovailoa is already doing “Judo” this offseason.

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Wolfe says Tagovailoa is a “yes” for Miami in 2023, but he is unsure beyond that. He has to consistently show he is available each week. May 2 is the deadline for Miami to decide on Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option to have him for 2024.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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