Could one of the NFL's best quarterbacks join the AFC East for the 2021 season?
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been the subject of trade rumors and speculation of late. He reportedly is unhappy with some things going on in Houston, and ESPN's Chris Mortensen shed some light on that situation Sunday morning.
Mortensen also tweeted about a potential trade scenario in which Watson could go to the Miami Dolphins in a deal that includes 2019 No. 5 overall draft pick Tua Tagovailoa and other assets going to Houston.
Sources say Watson could play hardball with Texans about a trade. His new $156 million contract includes a no-trade clause but informed speculation from a source is that he would consider the @MiamiDolphins in which Tua Tagovailoa and additional compensation goes to Houston.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 10, 2021
Just how upset is Watson right now? This tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter is pretty interesting:
Also worth noting: One source said this week that, after Houston traded Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last off-season, Deshaun Watson’s anger level was “a 2….This time, it’s a 10.” https://t.co/CsqZYbe3OK
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2021
Let's go back to the Texans-Dolphins scenario mentioned in Mortensen's tweet above. It makes all the sense in the world for the Dolphins. They are loaded with draft picks and talented young players. Miami owns the No. 3 pick in the draft, which it actually got from Houston in the Laremy Tunsil trade in 2019, as well its own first-rounder at No. 18 overall.
The Dolphins have the assets to land Watson, and he would no doubt be an upgrade over Tagovailoa. There's no question that Tagovailoa has a ton of talent and a bright future, but he's still an unknown and didn't play particularly well as a rookie in 2020. We know what Watson is capable of doing. He's an MVP-caliber player who just completed the best statistical season of his career, throwing for a career-high 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
Watson going to the Dolphins would not be good for the New England Patriots, to say the least. The Dolphins finished ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East standings this season for the first time since 2008. Miami has a better roster, a stronger collection of draft picks in 2021 and one of the league's best young coaches in Brian Flores. Acquiring Watson could make the Dolphins a legit a contender in the AFC as soon as next season.
The Patriots would have a tough time reclaiming the division title if they had to go through a Watson-led Dolphins and a very good Buffalo Bills team that went 13-3 this season.
Watson's situation is going to be one of the most closely watched storylines of the entire offseason, and if he does get traded, the move will have a profound impact on the balance of power in pro football.