Dolphins’ interest in Deshaun Watson puts damper on Panthers’ dream-QB hopes

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Tim Weaver
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In a shocking development, the Dolphins are now also reportedly interested in trading for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. This is of course very bad news for the Panthers. While Houston is still saying Watson won’t be traded, Miami arguably has the best chance of any team in the league to pull it off.

At the top of the list the things the Dolphins can offer are four of the top 50 picks in the 2021 NFL draft and 22-year old QB Tua Tagovailoa. Miami might also try to play on the Texans’ just having lost J.J. Watt by dangling 25-year old DL Christian Wilkins or the 27-year old DE Emmanuel Ogbah. They also have two high-level cornerbacks in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, who are 27 and 28 respectively.

Needless to say, that’s a lot more than what the Panthers can offer right now. While they could put together a package with some combination of Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, Jeremy Chinn and Donte Jackson, they need those guys more than Miami needs theirs.

Unless team owner David Tepper is willing to go all in with several years’ worth of future first-round draft picks it could be tough for him to compete with any serious Dolphins offer.

Miami should also be an attractive destination for Watson, who has a no-trade clause. Thanks mostly to the efforts of coach Brian Flores and a magnificent defense, the Dolphins finished 10-6, good for No. 2 in an AFC East division which is more competitive since Tom Brady jumped ship.

Buffalo wound up winning the division with a 13-3 record and one of the most complete rosters we’ve seen in recent memory. Adding Watson to the mix would at least give the Dolphins a serious chance to compete with the Bills for the next several division titles, assuming Bill Belichick doesn’t have another GOAT quarterback hiding up his sleeve somewhere.

In any case, the Dolphins likely give Watson a far better chance of winning a championship than the Panthers will any time soon.

The price would undoubtedly be steep and painful, but we still believe Watson is worth a sell-the-farm kind of package – even if it takes three first-rounders, two defensive starters and Christian McCaffrey.

If the Texans say no, the good news is there are still a few other veteran QBs who might be on the trade block soon. Gardner Minshew is our favorite but Sam Darnold is also worth considering.

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