Former MVP QB Labels Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa a ‘Game Manager’

Cam Newton called Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa a "game manager."

Getty Cam Newton called Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa a "game manager."

Former NFL MVP quarterback Cam Newton — who is still technically a free agent — made headlines for a recent opinion on his podcast, “4th & 1.”

The take involved several QBs that have had success in 2023, including San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy, Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, Detroit Lions’ Jared Goff and Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.

“Brock [Purdy], they’re not winning because of him,” Newton stated while discussing the current MVP contenders around the league.

“[Purdy’s] managing the game,” he went on, explaining his point. “And if we were to put that in its own right as ‘game managers’ — this may ruffle a lot of feathers but it’s honest — Brock Purdy, Tua Tagovailoa, Jared Goff and really, Dak Prescott. These are game managers. They’re not difference makers.”

On the flip side, Newton argued that 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill are all difference makers that deserve more MVP consideration in 2023.

The main crux of the former MVP’s point was that if you take McCaffrey or any of the “difference makers” he listed away from their team, it’s much more impactful than taking away a “game manager” QB like Purdy or Tagovailoa.

“There’s a difference between managers of the game and difference makers of a game,” Newton concluded. “That’s not to say that they can’t win the MVP, but it just is what it is.”

Newton also voiced that his top game manager this year is Goff, in his opinion, and his top difference maker/MVP is McCaffrey.

ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin Defends Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa & the NFL QBs Cam Newton Disrespected

Although this podcast dropped on December 6, it didn’t really make the rounds until after Week 14.

ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin had one of the strongest responses on the December 13 episode of “Get Up” (shared by Awful Announcing on X).

“Move past the outfit for a second,” Martin began. “In the year of 2023 where it’s all about NFL backups, where is Cam?”

“Not on an NFL roster, right?” She questioned, continuing: “So, he’s talking about all of these NFL game managers. He sounds like the people literally tweeting at me from their basement like ‘get back in the kitchen.’ Like, you are at home, watching me. Just turn the TV off.”

Later, co-panelist Domonique Foxworth agreed with Martin, joking that Newton is just “saying some wild stuff so that he can get on ‘Get Up.’”

“That’s absurd,” Foxworth added. “Dak Prescott?! When he said Dak’s name, I was like, ‘he’s telling jokes right now.’”

The quarterback debate of game managers versus gunslingers and playmaker QBs has been going on for a long, long time. Tom Brady — the NFL’s most accomplished quarterback — was referred to as a “system QB” and game manager for much of his career, so Tagovailoa is in good company despite the slight.

In his prime, Newton was more of a playmaker at the position, but that doesn’t always translate to success. The former Carolina Panthers superstar made the Super Bowl once during his NFL career and lost. His record was also 3-4 all-time in playoff outings.

Titans WR DeAndre Hopkins Advocates for Tyreek Hill to Win NFL MVP in 2023

Tagovailoa may not be receiving MVP love at the moment, but his teammate is. Tennessee Titans wide receiver and former three-time All-Pro superstar DeAndre Hopkins gave Hill a shout-out for the award on December 12.

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“…@cheetah for MVP,” he voiced. “Give praise when it’s due.”

The post has over 10K likes in less than 24 hours on X. Not long after, Hill reacted with the popular “RE2PECT” GIF.

Below are the latest Week 15 MVP odds via DraftKings Sportsbook:

  • Prescott (+150).
  • Purdy (+185).
  • Jackson (+475).
  • Jalen Hurts (+650).
  • Hill (+1600).
  • Mahomes (+1600).
  • Josh Allen (+2000).
  • Tagovailoa (+2000).
  • McCaffrey (+4000).
  • C.J. Stroud (+8000).

Hill and McCaffrey are the current favorites for the Offensive Player of the Year award, which typically goes to a skill position player who is not a quarterback.