Asking price, not uncertainty, caused Dolphins to balk at Deshaun Watson trade

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
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Two weeks ago, many throughout the league believed that the Texans would imminently trade quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Dolphins. That feeling made its way to the league office, given that (per a source with knowledge of the situation) the Dolphins were communicating with 345 Park Avenue to get more information about Watson’s status.

The Dolphins wanted to know whether Watson would be placed on paid leave pending the resolution of his legal proceedings and/or whether and to what extent he’ll eventually be suspended without pay if he’s not prosecuted and if/when the 22 civil lawsuits pending against him are settled. However, the league didn’t tip its hand — because the league never does on matters of this nature.

As recently explained, the league has not even begun to make a decision on whether to place Watson on paid leave because the league doesn’t have to make that decision if the Texans will be paying him to not play, pending a trade. If/when he’s traded and prepares to play, the league would then decide whether to place him on the Commissioner Exempt list.

Per a source with knowledge of the conversations, that’s not what caused the Dolphins to back off. It was the asking price, one that the Texans refuse to soften despite the questions swirling around Watson. Although it’s been widely reported that the Texans want three first-round picks and two second-round picks, someone in the know mentioned that the Texans wanted four ones and two twos from the Dolphins. (Although by rule teams can only trade picks three drafts into the future, the Dolphins have two first-round picks in 2023, giving them four in the next three drafts.)

So, yes, a trade was moving toward happening. Ultimately, the Texans refused to reduce their demands to reflect the uncertainty that certainly hovers over Watson — especially with the possibility that he’ll be placed on paid leave if he’s traded and prepares to start playing.

Thus, as explained the other night during the Cowboys-Bucs pregame, the next question becomes whether a grand jury indicts Watson. Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics, the grand jury could (not will, but could) make a decision by late October or early November. With the trade deadline arriving on November 2, that could create a sliver of a chance for the Texan to trade Watson in 2021, if he’s not indicted.

27 responses to “Asking price, not uncertainty, caused Dolphins to balk at Deshaun Watson trade

  1. It’s a weird and unsettling power struggle deep within the Miami Dolphins organization. I believe head coach Brian Flores wants to keep Tua Tagovailoa and owner Stephen Ross has made it known he wants DeShaun Watson. Brian Flores has been under strange and borderline embarrassing public relations pressure to cover this up.

  2. Six players/picks? No way. A team would be better off finding a game manager at QB and use those six players/picks to improve the team. Then the team would have to take on the remainder of his salary which balloons next year. By next year, he’ll have been a year away from playing football (see how that helped Le’Veon Bell) and who knows what will happen on the legal side of things. The Texans may end up getting nothing but a lump of coal for him after that–and maybe even have to pay some of his salary to move him.

    The Texans front office is a hot mess. It’s likely not going to get any better.

  3. I think Chris Grier was just being an opportunist trying to see if he could get a bargain. It didnt work now its Tua time for better or worse

  4. Message to Tua: You are benched when the price comes down…?
    Wow. However, this was the very first rumor of Watson’s destination due to the strange GM pick in Houston, with the NE connections among not only the present but past HC and GM BOB. Looks like Houston is fixated on retrieving those Miami picks.

  5. I foresee trouble in Miami. Not that Watson isn’t a proven commodity with heavy baggage, owner/gm/coach with different agendas is bad for winning. Is Tua that bad? Miami should be a force in the AFCE.

  6. Tom Brady and Belichick to some degree were the only special things about the New England Patriots dynasty. Every single executive and assistant coach hired from there has failed. Caserio will too.

  7. The Texans management is absolutely delusional if they think any team will give up even half what they are asking. Meanwhile, they will continue to pay franchise $$$ to a guy who won’t play

  8. Houston completely blew it when they didn’t trade him immediately after the Rams traded for Matthew Stafford.

    Not sure how or if they’ll ever live that down knowing what we now know about him.

  9. The Texans are really overplaying their hand. And their reward for being delusional is that they get to pay Watson a fortune while he sits there doing nothing. Some seriously bad decision making going on in Houston.

  10. Im convinced the Texans are leaking all of this to cause chaos & confusion in Miami. They are still pissed they got FLEECED for Laremy Tunsil so they are desperate to recover what they lost..which is multiple 1sts and a starter

  11. The Dolphins don’t need Watson to make it to the playoffs and win in the playoffs. Tua may never reach the heights of a Mahomes, Allen, or even Herbert style of QB, but he can very much be an effective QB in the right scheme. The Dolphins need to use their future draft capital and continue to fortify their defense, improve their offensive line and add more play makers to help Tua. Even if they have Watson, they will still need to do all those things even with him, because as Watson has shown he also needs more help to win in the playoffs.

  12. This whole situation might motivate Tua to come on the field with a vengeance. Who knows, if he takes a leap, and they make the playoff, the front office might think twice before investing so much draft capital.

  13. Since the Dolphins have a terrible track record drafting in the 1st and 2nd rounds as of late they should accept Texans trade demands.

  14. Sounds like the Texans don’t really want to trade their troubled franchise quarterback if this is truly the asking price.

  15. Makes me wonder what happens if Tua has a bad game. I assumed the Texans get what they’re asking if/when a contender loses their QB to injury. It may just take a QB playing badly!

  16. Certainty and asking price are both undeniable parts of a Watson trade. And I don’t see any evidence the Dolphins were interested in trading 3-4 #1s. Perhaps they were exploring a possible bargain for much less.

  17. Between Tua and Watson, you still don’t have a winning QB. Doesn’t Miami have a personnel department? Is the owner running the show?

  18. Texans management gave this ‘would be’ decision way too much thought. “Never underestimate the other guys greed”

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