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CBS Miami's Steve Goldstein: Dolphins, Tua want to work out deal; team keeping free agent options open

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CBS News Miami Live

MIAMI — It's the time of year for the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. It also means coaches and general managers around the league meet with the media.

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel and General Manager Chris Grier made their rounds addressing a variety of subjects. The number one topic on everyone's mind is the contract situation with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Where it Stands

McDaniel expressed confidence in his QB, which comes as no surprise. The duo has grown together over the last two seasons, and until the end of last season, the Dolphins were having one of the greatest offensive campaigns in the history of the NFL.

Tagovailoa is signed for next season but it is the final year of his contract. He also expressed the desire to continue playing for the Dolphins, so it would appear to be a matter of how much money and how many years Chris Grier wants to give. If the two sides can not agree, he will still be the Dolphins starting quarterback this season, although the contract rhetoric will certainly be high. The expectation is while this deal could take a little while to get done, there will be a long-term contract signed at some point.

Wilkins Deal

Christian Wilkins had the same situation last year at this time going into the final year of his contract. The two sides could not agree, so they decided to let it play out. Wilkins had a career year and now will be demanding at PR near top dollar for his position. The Dolphins do you have the option of using the franchise tag, which would have Wilkins play for Miami this upcoming season. It would appear that both sides would like to do a long-term deal, but of course, the dollar amount will be the deciding factor.

O-Line Status

Terron Armstead will return after some retirement talk, and that is good news. Both center Connor Williams and right guard Robert Hunt are free agents, though. The Dolphins will need to sign another left tackle due to Armstead's age and injury history. Kendall Lamm played very well last season and is a possibility to return. The question will be, can the Dolphins afford to keep both Williams and Hunt, and if not, which one remains in Miami. Both players graded out very well last year, but both also missed time with injury. The offensive line improved last season and will look to take another step and, in particular, stay healthier than it did a year ago if that's possible.

Waddle? Stays

There was some silly media speculation about the Dolphins trading Jaylen Waddle. That speculation was put to rest by Grier. Waddle will be a Dolphin.

X Return?

Xavien Howard is it free agent after the Dolphins told him they would be letting him go. That means the possibility of a return to Miami, although often when those things are brought up, they do not materialize. But it was clear that this was a business decision, and if they can bring him back at a lower cost, it is a possibility. Unknown is how he would fit into new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver's scheme. Weaver it would appear, needs versatile cornerbacks.

Grade A

The NFL Players Association polled players, and the Dolphins graded out as one of the league's best franchises. Owner Stephen Ross was ranked first, and the Dolphins topped the NFL in several other categories like the support staff and training facilities. Overall, the grades were A's across the board.

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