The Jets Need to Stay Out of the Tua Tagovailoa Sweepstakes

Tua declares for the draft, and the Jets front office needs to stay FAAAAARRRRR away.

Tua Tagovailoa
Oct 20, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) drops back to throw a pass in a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets were like any other football team watching the Tua Tagovailoa lead Alabama Crimson Tide come back to beat the University of Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 College National Championship game. Salivating at the chance of drafting this kid. But he was a full two seasons away from being eligible for the draft. And the Jets drafted Sam Darnold. Now, Tua declared for the draft, and the Jets need to steer clear.

Sam Needs Help, Not a Threat

Sam Darnold is showing signs he’s progressing in the right direction. A competent backup is who the Jets should consider this offseason, and I made the argument that they should be all in on Joe Flacco as the direct backup to Sam. He had an injury that cost him games in 2018, and the mono set him (and the team) back this past season. Having someone to fill in without looking helpless is key for 2020, but drafting Tua will lead to Sam losing his job.

A body of work like Tagovailoa makes fans want to see what he can do sooner, rather than later. If Sam struggles over a couple of weeks, fan pressure will mount on the Jets to bench Sam for Tua. And once Tua goes in, no one will want to see him come out.

Tua’s History Should Scare The Jets

Much will be shrugged off over this, but the two surgeries he got for ankle sprains were largely elective. And the implant placed in Tua’s ankles can break, causing him to miss more time professionally to correct what was done. And that hip dislocation…

Lots are saying that the hip dislocation was a freak accident. But what if it wasn’t? This is a kid who, at 21 years old, had both his ankles operated on, and had to surgically repair a dislocated hip. This kid is injury prone. And do you really want an injury-prone quarterback? It’s what ultimately cost Ryan Tannehill his job in Miami.

There Are Too Many Moves to Make to Waste Draft Capital to Move up for Tua

We all know the Jets offensive line needs to be addressed. We know the defense can be strengthened, to become as elite as any defense in the league. We know we can get a viable backup and draft a third-string QB for when Sam misses time next season. We will lose so much maneuverability to do all of this if we trade away our draft picks, just to move up for Tua.

All of these and more is why the Jets need to keep far away from the Tua sweepstakes.