After a bounce-back season, Tua Tagovailoa is still looking to prove that he can be the Miami Dolphins' long-term option at quarterback.

This upcoming season will be the last of Tagovailoa's rookie contract. He led the NFL in passing yards last season with a career-high 69.3 completion percentage and 29 passing touchdowns (though he also had a career-high 14 interceptions). The Fins have a window of playoff contention open but will have to decide if they want to hitch the future of that to their 26-year-old QB.

According to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network, contract negotiations between Tagovailoa and the Dolphins are ongoing and the young quarterback has put in a good amount of work this offseason. Even though much of it was his own individual workouts away from the team, he has still stayed active and even lost a good amount of weight in the hopes of becoming more dynamic.

“He's down to 220 pounds, from what I understand. He dropped 10 to 15 pounds this offseason already from the 230s, where he was last year,” Wolfe said. “He wants to be agile, a little bit more escapability from the bulked-up version that was in the 230s year. Talking with people close to Tua and with the Dolphins, I still anticipate they get a deal done before the start of the regular season. And, yes, I anticipate it being over $50 million a year like Jared Goff got.”

Tagovailoa's past injury history might lead to some concerns about Tagovailia getting lighter. Wolfe said that, after seeing him play 17 games last season and learn ways to decrease his odds of sustaining a concussion, Miami's concerns are lessened.

Tua Tagovailoa reaches ideal playing weight ahead of Dolphins OTAs

Tagovailoa isn’t about to become a serious dual threat now that he has shed some weight but it should certainly make him more mobile. Being able to escape the pressure and work more out of structure with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, De'Von Achane and the playmakers he has alongside him should add another wrinkle to a potent offensive attack.

The Dolphins should be one of the better teams in the AFC next season thanks to their high-powered offense. Mike McDaniel's squad may not have won a playoff game yet but the fact that the postseason is always within reach is a great sign. Miami hasn’t had this type of consistent success since the turn of the century.

But while that success gives them some breathing room to keep building the team, it also comes with the pressure of making sure their decisions are right. If they aren’t sure about Tagovailoa being the QB that can get the team over the hump, it's time to make another move. Or, if that right guy isn’t out there and the franchise truly believes in him, it would be helpful to lock down his future as soon as possible.

The Detroit Lions extending Goff offers a ballpark for what an above-average-but-not-superstar quarterback goes for now. Tagovailoa being much younger helps him but Goff having helped his team get to the conference championship game is something that Tua's resumé currently lacks.

For Tua Tagovailoa, the 2024 season is a huge one. He's putting in the work to get better as he fights for his spot on the team.