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Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel: Tua Tagovailoa 'has been both' here and not here for workouts

Tua Tagovailoa has not attended all of the Miami Dolphins' offseason activities, leading to speculation about if he could be holding out for a new contract.

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, however, attempted to clear the air on his QB's offseason attendance on Tuesday.

"The good news about 'all' is it's very black and white," McDaniel told reporters. "(Tagovailoa) has been here for offseason activities. He has not been here for offseason activities. He has been both."

The fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa figures to be in line to be the next quarterback to sign a lucrative extension. He led the NFL in passing yards in 2023 (4,624), throwing for a career-best 29 TD passes, earning his first Pro Bowl invitation and starting every game in a season for the first time in his NFL career.

Tagovailoa and the Dolphins have engaged in contract negotiations, even though no deal has been struck. McDaniel indicated that he's fine with the situation as long as he knows where everyone and everything stands. NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe also indicated that while a deal might not be imminent, both sides have continued talking and are optimistic a contract eventually gets done. But until that happens, speculation grows.

"I think (what is) important in the player-coach relationship is communication," McDaniel said regarding Tagovailoa's attendance. "I think however things play out, as long as we're communicating and we're on our Ps and Qs in what we need to get accomplished, then we have a fighting chance. It's been a good exercise in our relationship this offseason."

Asked if the absences were contract-related, McDaniel opted not to speak on his quarterback's behalf.

"I don't make a habit of speaking for other people's mouths," he said. "I'll let you ask Tua."

Tagovailoa attended Monday's session but was not present on Tuesday.

Wolfe reported that Tagovailoa attended Nick Saban’s golf tournament on Tuesday and cleared the absence with McDaniel previously.

For anyone questioning Tagovailoa's commitment to the team, Wolfe reported on Monday that Tagovailoa has dropped "10 to 15 pounds" this offseason, to get to around 220. After a series of hard hits earlier in his career, Tagovailoa added weight the previous offseason and even took jiu-jitsu lessons to better absorb contact and hit the ground with less impact. But now, Wolfe said, Tagovailoa is hoping to be "a little more agile" and add "a little more escapability" heading into the 2024 season.

McDaniel likes the look of his new slimmed-down QB.

"The results speak for themselves," McDaniel said. "He's svelte."

Now we must wait to find out if Tagovailoa's wallet gets fatter this summer, even while his waistline appears to be shrinking.

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