With their season on the verge of slipping away after dropping to 1-5 with Sunday’s loss in London to the previously winless Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins are reportedly on the brink of making a franchise-altering move.
The Dolphins could have a deal with the Houston Texans for star quarterback Deshaun Watson completed this week, according to John McClain of The Houston Chronicle. If the deal doesn’t go down this week, Miami is hopeful a trade for Watson can be executed before the NFL trade deadline on November 2 as ongoing talks between the two teams have “intensified into serious negotiations.”
McClain’s report was confirmed by a local sports director.
Due to his still-unresolved legal situation related to allegations of sexual misconduct made by more than 20 women, Watson has been on Houston’s roster all season but has been made inactive for every game by the team.
Uncertainty about the 26-year-old’s availability to play moving forward due to his legal issues may help Miami get him at somewhat of a discount, but the Texans will still likely collect a king’s ransom of players and draft picks in any potential trade. Any package Miami puts together for Watson would likely involve second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Miami’s first-round choice in 2020. Fairly mediocre as a rookie and unhealthy for much of this season, Tagovailo has three touchdowns and two interceptions in the three games this year.
In addition to Tagovailo, Houston would likely be looking for at least two first-round draft choices as well as a couple of second-round picks. The Dolphins, who have been stockpiling assets for a few years, are one of the few teams in the league with enough picks at their disposal to meet Houston’s asking price.
A Pro Bowler in each of the past three seasons, 26-year-old Watson has thrown 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions over the course of his NFL career and is a top-five quarterback in the NFL when healthy. Giving up the farm for him in a trade is certainly a gamble, but his upside is undeniable and bringing him to Miami would give the Dolphins the real-deal franchise quarterback they’ve been lacking since Dan Marino’s retirement.
If Watson is dealt to Miami this week or next, he’ll get the chance to take the field against his former team when the Dolphins play the Texans on November 7. Watson has a no-trade clause and would have to approve any deal, but it is expected he would accept a trade to Miami.