It’s all coming down to whether someone blinks.
The Dolphins are reportedly the frontrunner to land quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Texans. And Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins “remain intrigued by the possibility” of trading for Watson. However, Jackson says the Dolphins aren’t willing to give the Texans what they want — reportedly, three first-round picks and two second-round picks.
With the other potentially interested teams (Panthers, Eagles, and Broncos) reportedly bowing out, the question becomes whether the Texans will reduce their demands, if the Dolphins won’t give Houston what it wants.
The most fair approach continues to be tying future picks to games that Watson plays this year, next year, and perhaps in 2023. If the Texans are willing to pay Watson $10.54 million to not play this year, it becomes more likely that they’ll get what they want in early 2022, if the legal situation becomes a little more clear by then.
Ultimately, the question is whether the Texans are willing to pay Watson eight figures to remain on the team and not play, or whether they simply want to cut and run. It’s possible that they’re holding out for the biggest possible trade package until Monday or Tuesday, when they will then take the best offer they can get.
There’s another important factor to remember. New Texans G.M. Nick Caserio, like many former Bill Belichick lieutenants, won’t want to do a deal that Belichick will regard as a bad one. And, yes, that’s the kind of sway that Belichick holds over his former employees.
Belichick presumably also would prefer that Watson not come to the AFC East. So if Caserio is going to do a bad deal, Belichick would surely want it to be a bad deal that sends Watson out of the conference entirely.