The Dolphins still have not come out and said they don’t want Deshaun Watson. They’re getting closer, but they still haven’t said it.
In response to our Tuesday report that owner Stephen Ross “really wants” to acquire the Texans quarterback, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweeted this: “Dolphins are pushing back on Mike Florio report that Steve Ross ‘really wants’ Deshaun Watson. Dolphins just now tell local reporters that Ross ‘does not force football decisions‘ and ‘believes in Tua.’ I believe that to be true; but it doesn’t make Florio’s report wrong, either.”
No owner “forces” football decisions. No owner has to. One of the privileges of being a multibillionaire owner of an NFL franchise, as we’ve said many times in the past, is being able to traffic in subtleties when it comes to personal preferences. Those who are employed by the multibillionaire and who hope to keep it that way will realize what the multibillionaire wants and act accordingly, without the owner ever having to issue a direct order.
Many believe the Dolphins drafted Tua because Ross wanted Tua. Likewise, they tried to trade up with the Bengals to get Joe Burrow because Ross absolutely wanted Burrow. Unless and until the Dolphins come out and say, “We do not want Watson, we are not interested in Watson, and we will not be pursuing a trade for Watson,” wiggle room exists for something to happen.
The fact that the Texans are carrying Watson on the 53-man roster for now means nothing. A trade can happen at any time before 4:00 p.m. ET on the Tuesday after Week Eight. At some point, however, it makes no sense for a new team to try to get him until 2022, since there isn’t much he’d be able to do to help the team win in 2021.