Report: Dolphins ‘expect to be in mix’ in Deshaun Watson trade talks

If you were hoping that the lull between the end of the 2020/2021 playoffs and the start of the league calendar was going to provide some relief from the ongoing rumors regarding star quarterback Deshaun Watson and, by extension, the Miami Dolphins’ potential case to acquire him, we’ve got some bad news. The rumor mill isn’t going anywhere — and the latest report to come out on the subject seems to leave little room for interpretation. If the report, which comes from the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, is accurate? The Dolphins will come calling when the Texans finally give up on trying to salvage their relationship with Watson.

“According to a source with direct knowledge, a high-ranking team official has told at least one outsider that the Dolphins expect to be in the mix to acquire Watson if the Texans make him available (which they have not, to this point).

That person said the Dolphins did not indicate what they believe their chances were or what they were willing to offer, but instead merely acknowledged the possibility of Miami acquiring him.” – Barry Jackson, Miami Herald

This hypothetical is a divisive subject for Dolphins fans, many of which are eager to buy into the Dolphins’ commitment to 2020 rookie Tua Tagovailoa and see the team follow through on their original investment from last year’s NFL Draft. But Miami’s involvement in the rumors will be persistent until the standoff between Watson and the Texans will be consistent due to a perfect storm of variables:

  • The Dolphins are reported to be one of Watson’s top preferred destinations.

  • Miami has the depth of assets needed to give the Texans a valuable return on their investment in Watson, including the No. 3 overall pick in the event that Houston wants to target a replacement quarterback from this year’s class.

  • The salary cap hit for Watson is an easily digestible figure in 2021 at just $10.54M, which means Miami’s cap can easily accommodate him.

  • The performance of Tagovailoa in 2020 (while very much a byproduct of poor circumstances around him via injuries, a poor supporting cast and a lack of chemistry with play caller Chan Gailey) was not a slam dunk showing that left no doubt about his long-term forecast.

Jackson’s report on Miami expecting to make the call could be nothing more than the team anticipating doing their due diligence. It does not indicate that Miami will be “all in” with their pursuit. But Dolphins fans should, at the very least, brace themselves for several more weeks (and possibly months) of speculation here. And perhaps even a quarterback change if the perfect storm of variables leads to a price the Dolphins are comfortable paying.