The Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins have been engaged in trade talks regarding quarterback Deshaun Watson. That, they have in common.
But there is something else they have in common: Whispers around corners, trial balloons with the media and denials when standing before cameras.
“Tua is a our quarterback,” Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said at the end of the week, as Miami prepares to play host to the Atlanta Falcons. “I’m happy with our quarterback.”
The Miami quarterback is Tua Tagovailoa. He is the team’s starter. He will play almost certainly play against the Falcons and the Dolphins more-than-certainly need him to play well and to win.
Flores suggested that he is fine moving forward with Tua, and with a game on the horizon, that is the right thing to say.
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But Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would, we believe, be even happier with the three-time Pro Bowler Watson. Indeed, given Watson's talents - and not counting his legal entanglements - he remains a rare difference-maker, so much so that Houston continues to, as we put it, "hammer away'' at getting the three first-round picks-plus as trade compensation.
Also worth noting: Flores has a voice. But Miami general manager Chris Grier has a louder one. And of course Ross - maybe growing impatient with both of them as the Dolphins continue to flounder just below mediocrity - has the loudest of all.
Tagovailoa, who in a multi-team, multi-player series of deals that might end up tied to a Watson swap (with him bound not for Houston but instead for Washington?), was taken No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s 7-5 as a starter ... but the Miami passing attack is poor.
Watson would be an immediate boost and a long-term foundation in Miami. necessarily solve all of Miami’s problems in the short term.
Coach Brian Flores is right to stand by his quarterback. But if his quarterback's name is ever "Deshaun Watson''? He'll stand by him even more firmly.