Reports have emerged linking Deshaun Watson with the Miami Dolphins.
Talk continues to link Deshaun Watson with the Miami Dolphins but it is unlikely that he will be a part of the team in 2021.
The Miami Dolphins had an impressive 2020 season, seeing them put in some memorable performances on route to a 10-6 season after finishing 5-11 just the season prior.
Talk has now turned to where the Dolphins should look to improve in order to take the next steps in their rebuild and tip them into the post-season, which they had a chance of making this time around on the final day of the regular season.
One thing that often decides the progress of a team is the quarterback position, which is once again heavily under the microscope for the Dolphins after they selected Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth-overall pick in last year’s draft.
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Despite using a high pick on the former Alabama Crimson Tide passer, the latest talk around the team is focused on whether or not a situation could arise where current Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson somehow finds himself in South Florida.
Watson, who will be entering his fifth year in the NFL in 2021, is reportedly unhappy in Houston and has specifically mentioned the Dolphins as a team he would be willing to be traded to.
Having a player of Watson’s quality linked with the team is obviously a significant sign of approval at what the Dolphins are building after many years of mediocrity.
In his latest season with the Texans, Watson threw for a career-high 4823 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions, but the overall quality of the team saw them slump to a 4-12 record after posting back-to-back winning seasons with him at the helm previously.
Having a player such as Watson would undoubtedly see the Dolphins take a great leap forward, but it is extremely unlikely that the former Clemson Tiger will ever don the aqua, white and orange.
For one, the link with Watson likely has been blown out of proportion in part due to the rumoured link between former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien for the Dolphins’ open offensive coordinator job.
The cost in acquiring Watson would be far too rich for the now-sensible approach the Miami Dolphins have been taking with their rebuild, in both trade assets as well as financially.
The reports surrounding a potential trade for Watson includes Tagovailoa as a piece that would need to be included, meaning that the Dolphins would likely have to give up the draft capital they acquired from the Texans in the first place and even add to it in order to make it work.
With four draft picks over the first two rounds in this year’s draft, the Dolphins have the opportunity to add some legitimately quality young players that can become cornerstone pieces to the team’s success moving forward.
In order to acquire Watson, the Dolphins would effectively have to give up the chance to improve other areas of the team for just one, even if it is the most important on the team.
The cost of a trade in terms of assets should keep the Dolphins from even considering it, especially when you consider Watson’s financial cost in the long term.
Via Spotrac, Watson holds a cap hit of $15.94 million in 2021, but that escalates extortionately to $40.4 million and $42.4 million in 2022 and 2023 respectively, which would limit the team’s ability to build a well-balanced team that can compete in all areas of the game for many years.
To put that figure into perspective, the highest cap hit on the Dolphins roster in 2021 is Byron Jones’ $16.1 million, which is less than half what Watson would cost.
Tagovailoa played, unsurprisingly, like a rookie in his first year with the Dolphins, but he still has exceptional upside and giving him weapons and a stronger offensive line would help him take the right steps forward in his development.
Gambling the future of the team just to acquire Watson, is something that Brian Flores isn’t likely to want to happen. The Dolphins have already named Tagovailoa their starter in 2021 because they genuinely believe in what he will become with the right progression.
Too many factors bet against the Miami Dolphins ever getting close to making a deal for Deshaun Watson and any further rumours contrary to this will likely be just that.