AFC East Rumors: Watson, Mariota, Allen

Add veteran NFL reporter Tyler Dunne of to the list of writers who have heard that Texans QB Deshaun Watson is not budging on his desire to be traded, and that he continues to ignore every call from Houston brass. Of course, Watson has a no-trade clause that he could use to help dictate where he goes — assuming the Texans give in and deal him, which they have insisted they are not going to do — and we recently heard that the 49ers and Broncos are on his destination list.

Dunne’s source indicates that the Dolphins — who have been considered one of the frontrunners for Watson since trade speculation started to swirl — and the Niners are Watson’s top two preferred clubs. In Dunne’s view, a trade to Miami makes too much sense to not happen, and he believes the ‘Fins and Texans could line up on a deal that sends Watson to South Beach in exchange for the No. 3 and No. 18 overall picks in this year’s draft along with Miami’s 2022 first-rounder.

Now for more rumors from the AFC East:

  • Recent reports have indicated that Raiders QB Marcus Mariota is generating legitimate trade interest, and Mike Reiss of believes the Patriots could be in the mix. New England obviously needs a quarterback, and Mariota is attached to a reasonable $10.6MM salary for 2021 and would not cost much to acquire in terms of draft capital. Although he could demand a raise if he is being acquired to serve as a starter, his current salary would not preclude the Pats from continuing to explore other options, like Jimmy Garoppolo — if the the 49ers land a different QB and release Garoppolo — or a collegiate passer.
  • Reiss does not expect the Patriots to make a deal with the division-rival Jets for Gang Green QB Sam Darnold, though what the Jets do with Darnold could certainly have a major impact on New England (for instance, if New York trades Darnold to San Francisco, Garoppolo could become available).
  • The Jets have among the most cap space in the league at just shy of $70MM, and they can easily create even more flexibility, thereby giving them a huge advantage in what could be a buyer’s market given the decreased salary cap. Connor Hughes of The Athletic believes New York will release DE Henry Anderson, which jibes with a report from December. That move will save the club $8.2MM in cap space, and Hughes suggests that guards Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis might be goners as well (their releases would save $3.4MM and $5.1MM, respectively).
  • Meanwhile the Jets don’t have too many of their own free agents that must be retained. Hughes expects safety Marcus Maye to be re-signed, and he also says OL Pat Elflein — who played well in 2020 after being claimed off waivers from the Vikings — is a logical candidate to return, especially if the team moves on from Van Roten and/or Lewis.
  • Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News does not foresee the Bills laying out major free agent dollars this offseason. Instead, he expects the club to use the majority of its cash on an extension for QB Josh Allen, which means that the Bills will likely allow LB Matt Milano to test the open market — contrary to GM Brandon Beane‘s assertion that a franchise tag could be in play — and will not be in the running for a top pass rusher like Shaquil Barrett or Bud Dupree.
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29 comments on “AFC East Rumors: Watson, Mariota, Allen

  1. bradthebluefish

    I understand Watson wanting to be traded, but it sure is disrespectful to not even take Houston’s calls.

    • Rocket32

      bradthebluefish Well it does send a clear message to the Texans while they at least publicly seem to be resisting his trade demand.

    • BAINES03

      Disrespectful? If he can’t trust a word out of their mouths, what is the point of taking their calls and getting worked up about it? It’s smart if him to just let his agent handle the situation. That’s why they get paid so much.

    • saluelthpops

      Yes, it is more than disrespectful, it’s absolutely childish. I don’t think he’s in the wrong to be upset or even to demand a trade, but to ignore phone calls like a bratty teenager just shows his level of maturity. What if they’re trying to get in touch with him to discuss possible destinations?

      • Would you take a call from these hapless buffoons? Like BAINES said, let the agent handle it.

        They’ve been disrespectful to Watson throughout the whole process. Yet JJ Watt asks to be released so he can choose where he wants to play and they grant that wish at the drop of a hat and throw away any trade compensation in the process. Why take their calls? They know what he wants and it’s not changing.

      • jessethegreat

        His agent (attorney) isn’t turning down any calls from the Texans. They let it get to the point in having to handle things strictly through their lawyers. I assure you, his agent knows any and every destination he will accept and or decline trades to and will inform the Texans when presented with the opportunity.

        • CursedRangers

          I love to see his destination be sitting out the season and forgoing tens of millions of dollars. His sense of entitlement is obnoxious, especially considering how much he is making and the fact that he choose to sign his contract. For that type of money he needs to be a leader, not a cancer.

          I love seeing all the turmoil taking place with QB’s. Salaries were getting out of control (compared to other positions). Not saying they are the most important portion, but it’s a joke when they are making almost twice as much as any other player on the team.

  2. elscorcho the marlin

    I’m torn on the whole Watson to dolphins thing. It would only work, IMO, if we had him and the draft picks, which is impossible.

    • Lars MacDonald

      My opinion – Watson to Miami is just noise because the Phins won’t do it.

      Miami has the opportunity to play the trade back game and pick up lots of current and future draft capital. There are 4 or 5 QBs with first round grades this year, so it could be the perfect storm for Miami.

      Here is a potential draft scenario:

      1) Jacksonville takes Trevor Lawrence (QB)

      2) Jets take Justin Fields (QB)

      3) Miami trades the 3rd pick to Atlanta for the 4th, 35th and a 2022 2nd. Atlanta takes Zach Wilson (QB)

      4) Miami trades the 4th pick to Carolina for the 8th, 39th, 2022 1st and 2022 3rd. Carolina takes Trey Lance (QB)

      5) Cinci takes Penei Sewell (OT)

      6) Phili trades back from 6th with another team who picks La’Marr Chase (WR). Note: Phili wants more picks and might take Mac Jones (QB) later in the first.

      7) Detroit takes DeVonta Smith (WR)

      8) Miami picks Jaylen Waddle (WR)

      In this scenario, Miami would pick up 2 more second round picks this year and a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounder next year. And, they’d still get one of the top three WR’s at number 8.

      If they trade their draft capital for Watson, they get a GREAT QB (who is also very expensive). But, Miami has lost their payroll flexibility and can’t build out the team because of this as well as not having draft capital.

      Lastly, if Tua doesn’t work out, they can take another QB next year.

      • bencole

        First off, why would Atlanta trade that much to move up one pick when they know the Phins aren’t taking a QB anyway. Second, you think the Panthers are giving up 2 firsts, a top 7 pick in the second, and a third to move up 4 spots? And give up all that just to give up Trey Lance? If that wasn’t absurd enough, Lance will probably be there at 8 anyway.

        Take a look at what the Bears gave up to trade up for Trubisky. That’s provably the very top end of what anyone is giving up to trade up a spot to 3. And I don’t think Lance is going in the top 7, much less is anyone going to trade two years’ worth of draft hauls for him. I think Miami should really consider keeping/trading the picks instead of trading for Watson, but quite frankly, your trade ideas are more than twice what Miami could hope to get at the very best if they trade down those picks.

        • Lars MacDonald

          bencole – You make some good points and I’m just spit-balling.

          But, one thing to remember is that these things aren’t linear. Many teams will be vying for the few available QBs and things get crazy on draft night.

          Also, I called it a scenario because it’s only one possibility. They could trade with other team(s) with a need at
          QB. They also might not get as much in return as I assumed, but they would get a lot because we’re talking QB’s.

          In my scenario, if Atlanta falls in love with Wilson (or Lance), they might overpay to make sure another team doesn’t leapfrog them. This would also be true of Carolina or any other QB needy team. Miami is in the driver’s seat because of this and can play teams against each other.

          The main point I was trying to make is that Miami should be able to leverage pick number 3 (maybe #18 too) for more assets to build out the roster this year and next.

      • DonOsbourne

        This strategy seems much more rational. It’s obvious they had a good plan in place for the rebuilding of the team. They should stick with it. Junking the plan and trading for Watson feels like a NY Mets style move designed to grab headlines and “win the offseason”.

  3. Simmons>Russ

    Watson to the Dolphins is the only win situation for the Texans. Niners don’t have enough draft assets and their QB isn’t young enough to build around. The Jets have picks and have Darnold but you don’t really want to build around Darnold, meaning you have to draft a QB with one of the picks and Darnold means nothing.

    Whereas the Dolphins have picks and Tua Tagovailoa. Tua had a decent rookie showing coming off an injury and had to compete with a really decent Fitzmagic. Tua would be a great QB to build around for the Texans and they can use the picks they would get to invest in other areas.

    I still think the best deal is
    Dolphins: Watson
    Texans: Tua, 2021 3rd overall pick, 2021 18th overall pick, 2022 1st round pick and 2022 3rd round pick.

    Texans end up with a QB to build around, 2 firsts this year, a first round pick next year and a third round pick next year.

    Then if your the Texans I’d trade down with the third overall pick, I’d target Kyle Pitts, Terrace Marshall Jr, Creed Humphrey and then help on the defence. That way you have Tua, he has some weapons and some protection and then you can work on defence with the later rounds and FA

    • SJKinMD

      You leave out the possibility that a deal with the Jets wouldn’t necessarily have to include Darnold if the Texans don’t want him. There’s been talk that Darnold could be flipped separately to a team like Washington.And the Jets have plenty of picks to make the deal, with or without whatever they get for Darnold. Doesn’t mean they will, but you shouldn’t just dismiss them entirely.

  4. martevious

    The Dolphins should use their picks to strengthen the team. Trading for Watson ultimately weakens the team because, as has been pointed out, they wouldn’t have the pucks to continue to build around Watson, and would be strapped, cash-wise.

    • cka2nd

      I don’t know. His cap hit in 2021 would only be $4 million more than Tagovailoa’s at just under $11 million, and his 2022 cap hit would be a reasonable $35 mil, $37 mil in 2023, and then $32 mil the next two years. If the cap is over $200 million starting in 2022, and keeps going up from there, as expected, then that might be a palatable hit for Miami if Watson’s as good as most everyone says.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    The Dolphins and Watson look like a good fit until you realize it will probably lead to another Pet Detective movie.

  6. ARKScout

    So in Tyler Dunnes proposed trade the Texans would receive two first rounders this year and the 2022 first rounder for Watson? Does that mean he doesn’t think Tua would be a part of that deal? Doesn’t make a lot of sense for Miami to hold on to Tua to be the backup. This feels like an oversight on his part, Tua would have to be a part of this deal, if he isn’t the Dolphins would lose a ton of leverage in any trade of him since there’s no way they’d hold on to him to backup Watson. I could see this deal being the 3rd and 18th pick plus Tua and maybe a 2022 2nd rounder.

  7. Vitozeke1

    Jets should stick with Darnold. Forget fields and Wilson. They have their own baggage. You give Darnold a chance to prove himself for the year. Then draft either Lamarr Chase or Davonta Smith with that no.2 pick then go for either offensive line or defensive line/edge rusher with no.23. Then go for best player available to plug holes with your remaining picks. You try your best to eliminate all excuses for failure and give Darnold a fair chance to succeed. If he improves and has a good year then you’re looking good. If he doesn’t get it done then you go for your next QB next year and you’ll already have offensive weapons in place for whoever that is. The jets don’t need a hall of fame QB just a QB that can be a bit above average. As far as Watson goes, I wouldn’t pursue him. Houston went 4 and 12 with him setting all kinds of records and so will any team that trades for him except for San Fran or some team in the upper echelon. I personally don’t care for him. I think he’s got a bad attitude and thinks way too highly of himself.

    • SJKinMD

      Agree – would be inclined to keep Darnold versus drafting Fields or Wilson. But if they could get Watson without totally wiping out their draft board. . . . .

  8. mdog

    Why hasn’t he been traded yet? All the offers I have read about are just media speculation. Teams must not see the same value.

    • elscorcho the marlin

      They aren’t taking the calls. The Texans want to keep him.

      • mdog

        I don’t believe that they want to keep a unhappy player that doesn’t want to play for them. Maybe the team is not getting the calls, or the ones they are getting they don’t like.

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