Dolphins Expect To Be In Watson Mix

While the Dolphins have been connected to Deshaun Watson for weeks, indications Miami plans to pursue the dissatisfied Houston quarterback have been elusive. But the Dolphins, as should be expected, are going to be interested if this offseason’s top trade target hits the trade block.

If the Texans make Watson available, the Dolphins expect to be in the mix, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Although GM Chris Grier indicated after the 2020 season that Tua Tagovailoa would be Miami’s 2021 starter, it stands to reason the Dolphins would pursue one of the league’s best quarterbacks.

Multiple reports have pegged Watson as interested in the Dolphins. He is believed to have them at or near the top of his destination list, with the 49ers joining them in that sector. The Broncos and Panthers are interested as well, with the latter taking the interest lead thus far.

Despite having pined for Tagovailoa for nearly two years, the Dolphins make sense as a Watson spot. They have two first-round picks (Nos. 3 and 18) and two second-rounders this year. Though Eric Studesville and George Godsey are the team’s third and fourth offensive coordinators during Brian Flores‘ three-year tenure, Miami’s head coach and GM are not on the hot seat. And the team has made tremendous progress since starting a full-on rebuild in 2019.

Miami’s built-in recruiting advantages frequently attract free agents, and Watson would profile as one of the top trade targets in NFL history. It could take three first-round picks to acquire the three-time Pro Bowler, and Tagovailoa could head to Houston in such a swap. However, the timing of the deal would affect the Dolphins. If the Texans stick to their guns and hang onto Watson into the summer, the Dolphins lose a key bargaining chip. Miami’s best chance of acquiring Watson would be before a draft in which it holds two of the first 18 selections.

Cal McNair and Nick Caserio have insisted Watson is not going anywhere, but the recently extended QB has given no indication he plans to make nice with his rebuilding team. With the Dolphins and Jets holding two first-round picks and the Panthers and Broncos, respectively, in possession of top-10 choices, the Texans would have a better idea of a strong Watson return if they dealt him before the draft. Though, it is certainly understandable the Texans would prefer to exhaust every avenue before parting ways with the most talented quarterback in franchise history.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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34 comments on “Dolphins Expect To Be In Watson Mix

  1. Footballguy5

    If the Dolphins like Tua as much as they say..why the hell would they give up what it’ll take to get Watson?! Makes zero sense. However, I personally think Tua kinda sucks. I also think Watson has handled this situation like a spoiled brat..and that should give caution to anyone thinking of trading for him. Refusing to even talk to the team he willingly signed a big contract with shows serious maturity issues. Which isn’t what you want from your franchise QB. Any team who trades for him will have to give up a lot. Which will make it difficult to build around him moving forward. They better be worried that he’ll pull this same bs in a season or two if things don’t go perfectly.

    • rondon

      Tua may or may not turn out to be for real, but Watson IS the real deal. I don’t like to hear Watson complain but hey, that team has turned into an absolute fiasco so I understand why a franchise level QB would want out of there. The Dolphins have the best chance to make a deal and can wait the Texans out. At worst, they still have Tua and all their picks. But man, if they have a chance to get Watson, they have to do it. These kinda chances are few and far between.

    • Simmons>Russ

      I really like Tua and have done for years. I thought if it wasn’t for Joe Burrow having a stacked roster and great year at LSU he was going to be the top pick. I thought as a rookie he did alright. Tough coming off an injury, no training camps and in an offence with not much help. The OC isn’t much, your competition has with Fitzmagic which is tough, you don’t have much in revivers besides Parker and Gesicki and you also don’t have much in protection or in the running game.

      I think if Miami stays with him he can continue to improve but again they will need to invest on getting him some help if they want better. Whereas if they make a move for Watson they will get a great QB who is young and can take them to the playoffs ever year and possibly to a few Super Bowls. You just went 10-6 and you have 2 firsts and 2 seconds this year. Your can give some picks up to get a sure fire QB for the next decade. Why not? You wouldn’t turn down Russell Wilson or Pat Mahomes cause you have Tua and you think he can be really good, no you take the already really talented top QB and it’s not different in this situation.

      It’s funny in the past sorta 2 decades all the past super bowl winners have been between Payton, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Big Ben and then occasionally you’ll have a Eli or Matt Ryan or Rivers try get into this top tier and might win the odd super bowl but these guys have been the dominant QBs.
      The next generations top guys are Russ, Mahomes, Lamar, Watson and Allen. Your going to have Burrow, Murray, Herbert, Baker, Dak, and others try get into this club and they might win a super bowl but these others are different. You put Watson on the Dolphins, and I think you could have a someone like Rodgers instead of sticking with Tua and possibly having Phillip Rivers (best case situation)

    • “Refusing to even talk to the team he willingly signed a big contract with shows serious maturity issues. ”

      Have you been following the Texans at all? Their management is incompetent and has insulted Watson at every turn. *They* asked for his input on coaching decisions then went out of their way to completely ignore them.

      Watson doesn’t have maturity issues. Houston’s FO is just a dumpster fire.

      And don’t give me this nonsense about him ‘willingly sign[ing] a big contract’. Teams break their contracts with players constantly. Owners are the ones who have zero respect for contracts. They have so little respect for contracts and honoring them that a cornerstone of their negotiations for every CBA is that they retain the power to have non-guaranteed contracts so they can just cut a player (and thus break a contract) and pay them nothing going forward. Absolute player-hating nonsense whenever a fan brings up ‘honoring contracts’ with regards to NFL players. *The owners* are the ones who don’t give a hoot about contracts.

      • Black Ace57

        I agree. In the other 3 major sports I have a problem when players demand trades. Especially with how common it is in the NBA. If they make a commitment with a contract they should honor it. The one exception is football where all it takes is one injury and the team can refuse to hold up their end of the bargain. I will call our people like Watson the day guaranteed contracts exist.

  2. bradthebluefish

    “Though, it is certainly understandable the Texans would prefer to exhaust every avenue before parting ways with the most talented quarterback in franchise history.”

    Except everything has been exhausted as Watson won’t return any phone calls. He probably got a new phone too.

    • carlos15

      Everything isn’t exhausted. Not trading him and him no longer playing football until he suits up for the Texans is an option.

      • JJOP

        But to what end? No team will sit on that talent forever. The Steelers eventually let Bell go. And Watson is infinitely more valuable than Bell. Watson may lose a year salary, but take a look. It’s only $10M. But what he would get by going to a team with ANY SORT OF DECENT FO and a roster that can win will help his career immeasurably. And eventually earn him more money over the span of his career. For the Texans, they will eventually have to let him go and try to maximize their return. If Watson refuses to come back, the Texans hold very little sway…

  3. canajay12

    dolphins can get the best tackle in the draft at 3 and then a WR at 18 and give Tua a legit shot at the job with a full offseason. If he can’t produce in that environment then move on but at least let him try after using a top pick on him.

    • Zodolo

      I think you just may have made the argument to get Watson. If the Dolphins need to spend the #3 and #18 to see if Tua might pan out…and then add another bunch of picks to replace Tua if he doesn’t ( and I don’t think Tua has a top 5 ceiling)…we’ll – wouldn’t it just be better to give those picks for a sure thing in Watson?

      • JJOP

        The current Dolphins roster on offense is rather weak. Watson will not be able to ball like he did in Houston. It really all depends what Miami truly thinks of Tua. He has all the body and arm talent and accuracy of Brees. He had little time to throw, his top 2 receivers had some of the smallest separation numbers per catch in the NFL and Tua had no off-season to gel with his teammates. Fitzpatrick knew he could throw near to Gesicki and Parker and that they could win most battles. If you don’t have time to build that trust, how can you confidently throw those balls downfield. Fitzpatrick was the guy who saw Miami start 0-7 last year before going 5-4 down the stretch. Tua did not fail to show me any aspect of his game that was heralded in college. He just did not have the time nor the talent he needs to succeed. Also, many of his guys were injured down the stretch. They lost Preston Williams in that AMAZING Arizona game that Tua was almost masterful in. Parker missed games down the stretch and was clearly affected even when he was on the field. Gesicki missed games.

        Personally, I’d rather see Miami trade down a few spots and pick up Waddle and then get another WR and T/C in the late 1st/early 2nd…

  4. amk1920

    Dolphins had 3 first rounders last year and completely butchered 2 of them. Make the mega offer and take the sure think in Watson.

    • Lars MacDonald

      You have to give a player more time than their rookie year (especially because of covid’s impact on last year) to be able to make a statement like this.

      • MarlinsRising16

        Not a lot of QBs would be good with Lynn Bowden and Mack Hollen as their primary weapons. Not to mention a young offense line.

      • amk1920

        I’m waiting to judge Tua but Austin Jackson was awful and the corner was even worse.

    • JJOP

      Austin Jackson was decent and young. And hurt at times. Tua was fantastic at times and nothing about him in college that made him a high choice failed to materialize. He showed great accuracy and is crafty at times with his feet. Not every rookie with ZERO off-season are going to be great immediately. Parker and Gesicki got little separation and were hurt. He had UDFA players as his RB and a very young line. The Dolphins didn’t draft Brees in ’00 or sign him in ’05. Brees wasn’t all that great at that point in his career. But some fans would demand Miami give up on Tua when he’s potentially Brees all over again. Miami has the ability to draft a ton of top end talent this season. And maybe sign a guy.

      Oh, and very few CBs play lights out in their first year. Especially the youngest player in the NFL last year…

  5. Simmons>Russ

    Cmon Dolphins just get it done. You have the best package to offer. No one could really match it.

    Tua, 3rd overall pick 2021, 2021 second round pick, 2022 first round pick, 2022 second round pick and a 2022 fourth

    Dolphins get to keep one of their firsts this year and one of their seconds this year. Which means they can build around Watson and still give up a good enough deal for the Texans. Dolphins can take a RB and WR at the top of this draft which helps give Watson some more weapons. They went 10-6 with Tua and Fitzmagic, you upgrade to Watson and spend in the draft on weapons you’re going 12-4 and have a bright future.

    Texans get Tua would is still really young and promising and would be a good starter for them in a rebuild. They would have the third overall pick which they could spend however, I’d suggest trading back and getting more picks. (Panthers would be very interested in moving up) Then take someone like Kyle Pitts. With your second round pick and whatever you get from Carolina I’d spend on the defence and replacing JJ Watt.

    Texans are going to have to rebuild but your going to get a good start by taking such a high pick and good young QB like Tua. Your roster isn’t good but it’s also not completely terrible. You’ll have two RBs, you’ll have revivers one Cooks Cobb Coutee and Pitts if you take him. You’ve got parts to a young o line with Tunsil, Howard and Scharping. You’ve got some good experienced defenders like McKinney, Marcilus and Roby. Then some younger guys like Cunningham, Blacklock, Omenihu, Reid and Johnson Jr.
    All of a sudden before you know it your going to have a decent team again with a good QB.

    • I Beg To Differ

      Tua
      # 3 overall pick this year, they keep #18

      Texans get back #35 this year, Dolphins keep their own 2nd

      2022 1st and 2nd

      Texans should jump on that.

      Trade back from #3 and #35.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Exactly
        Tua 3rd overall and 35th for this year and then next year a first second and fourth.

        Still leaves the Dolphins the 18th and 50th or whatever it is to build with.

        Texans should then trade the 3rd overall with the Panthers for the 8th and get the Panthers third (73rd) this year and third next year.
        With the 8th pick grab Kyle Pitts.

        So your really trading Watson for Tua, Pitts, a second round pick this year, a third round pick this year, a fist round pick next year, a second round pick next year, a third round pick next year and a fourth round pick next year. 2 really talented young players and 6 nice picks in the next two years.

  6. MarlinsRising16

    Everyone hard on Tua for a guy whose #1 receiver was Lynn Bowden Jr. for most of his starts and a bunch of practice squid scrubs for a supporting cast. Parker/Grant/Gesiki couldn’t stay healthy/ejected. But all the sports screamers don’t mention that. The Dolphins need the draft capitol to continue to build, it would be wasted on and to much for Watson. Having Watson would be a waste when no one stays healthy or gets open. Save the picks, get weapons, roll with Tua and the fins make the playoff. Calling it.

    If they trade for Watson, they suck.

    • Simmons>Russ

      They went 10-6 with Tua and with Geseski and Parker constantly in and out.
      I’m not sure that tells you that Tua did a good job considering Fitzmagic closed an win a lot of games. Or tells you that they don’t need to continue to build as much as you think. They went 10-6 with a rookie QB, their two best receivers constantly not there and not the best running game or protection.

      Yes they could use the picks to add better starters and attacking options for Tua and run it back and he would obviously get better. But you could also trade for Watson knowing your getting a top top QB who will take you to the playoffs every year for the next 10+ years. Your still going to have some picks to use to improve as a team but you’ve gotten yourself a huge upgrade in the most important position.

      • JJOP

        Fitzpatrick also got them started at 1-3. No doubt he was frustrated getting pulled at 3-3 because I think he could see the offense was finally improving. Tua, no doubt, had growing pains and did not have the confidence to throw into the tight windows his receivers were giving him. Fitzpatrick could since he had all of 2019 to figure out. I think if Tua had started from the beginning, he would have struggled like Fitzpatrick, but could’ve finished the season stronger. I think Tua’s accuracy, with experience, will make him great. This team went 10-6 with a ton of rookies and young players on offense. To think they won’t be able to improve at least 2 games with the potential to add 4(maybe more w/trades!) offensive pieces, is playing it pretty skeptically/conservatively.

    • Mjm117

      I wouldn’t say ripped off but idk of many teams would give up 2 firsts for a top 10 OT on an expiring rookie deal.

    • tcg-htx

      @ Lefty_Orioles_Fan…They are not limited to make horrible deals just with the Dolphins with all teams. They welcome all the opportunity to be abused by all teams.

      The delay is that they are trying to figure out if the Dolphins, Jets, 9ers, Panthers, and Broncos are really willing to actually trade a 1st round pick. Then they need to create pictures to explain it to Cal.

  7. seaver41

    What does it say about MIA talent evaluators if they bail on Tua now? Miami can’t claim economics like the Jets can (Farnold on verge of extension). This would be a clear statement that they think they royally screwed up viewing Tua as the answer

  8. Rocky$$ 6

    Tua couldn’t make passes more than 10 yards he panicked in the pocket his to small I would of preferred Herbert the defence made him look good he played 1 good game and don’t talk to me about covid all starting rookies were in the same boat and did better even Hurts in philly so let’s go Miami wake up get a Watson I’d like to see a super bowl in Miami in my life time just my opinion from a frustrated fan

    • JJOP

      The defense made Tua look good? That defense also made Herbert look bad. You know, the Herbert with a bunch of proven offensive pieces. Tua had little time to throw. Gesicki and Parker had some of the worst separation numbers in the NFL. And Tua had sometimes 3 rookies on his OL. Yes, Herbert had no offseason, but he an offense full of guys(and Pro Bowlers) with lengthy NFL experience.

  9. JJOP

    I don’t think it’s an issue of maturity at all. Of course he will sign a big contract. And, at that time, the Texans had hopes. Most of the dumpsterfire issues have occurred since that contract was signed. O’Brien was a crappy GM, but I don’t think Watson was expecting the coach/GM to be fired as I don’t think he expected the Texans to be as bad as they were. But to see what has happened since that 0-4 start? I think any player, especially a QB that values his career, would want out. Granted, he seemed to want to work with the team early on to get the right people in place. He was able to get the Texans to agree to give him input. For any employee of any company to be told a certain thing of value and then to be either lied to or just not given what was promised, it’s easy to see why they would look to go elsewhere. And since he has enough sway to make it happen, he’s going to make it happen. Maturity issues? No way. I would say he was a bit short-sighted when signing that contract…

  10. Daryle

    Not sure how waiting till summer would be bad would give us the chance to use the draft capital to get talent we need around him now and make houston hand worse off. as if they changed their mind in summer it means that they had no choice as Watson was holding out. Not only that but it also means some of the teams currently in the mix will not be in the mix as they have now drafted new QBs more than likely or found another QB to trade for ie Russell Wilson. So let Houston screw their bargaining chips. They’re good at that. I mean imagine Smith, Chase or Waddle with Parker and Williams at WR Gesicki at TE and Harris and Gaskins at RB with Watson at QB would gladly accept losing 2 or 3 first round draft picks in upcoming years with that talent all young all locked in for years would be great.

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