The Miami Dolphins should not trade for Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson despite the fact it is intriguing in every way. No, the Dolphins should stand pat unless the Texans asking price is favorable to the Dolphins.
There is no question that Deshaun Watson is an incredible talent and yes, maybe he is undeniably a top-five NFL quarterback. I would go so far as to say that Watson would immediately make this team better and would become the unquestioned leader in the locker room. The problem for me, he is simply too damn expensive.
Watson has an enormous contract to start. In 2021, his contract will be the lowest in the next four years. At almost $16 million for the 2021 season, the Dolphins would easily be able to fit that into their salary cap without blinking an eye. It is what comes after that.
Watson’s deal will escalate to $40 million, $42 million, $34 million, and finally $32 million. And change. That’s a lot of cap space for a team that is rebuilding its roster and while the cap will dip in 2021, it will most certainly rise in subsequent seasons.
The real cost comes in the form of draft picks. The Dolphins have been working hard to rebuild this team and draft capital is important. If Miami made a deal for Watson, it would likely cost them Tua Tagovailoa, the 3rd overall pick, the 18th overall pick, and probably more that could include next year’s first-round pick.
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If this is what Chris Grier’s plan all along was, then I suppose congratulations would be in order, but I find that hard to believe. Many will point out that no draft pick is proven in the NFL. Watson is. Still, would it be smart to potentially trade DeVonta Smith, Tua Tagovailoa, and Najee Harris for Watson? That’s is basically what could be on the table. In fact, that could be what Houston does with the bevy of picks they would receive.
Fans were not impressed with Tua’s first-year performance but is that a reason to give up on him now when he had no weapons on offense and an offensive coordinator who wouldn’t open the offense to support him? We are not giving Tua any time to develop but instead shipping off the QB that most Dolphins fans said was a “can’t miss quarterback”. I suppose we should now believe them all to have been wrong.
Miami should stay the course and continue to do what they are doing. This was never a two-year or even a three-year rebuild. This was a long-term project. A project of developing a young team into an experienced team. Trading away draft picks doesn’t always work and there is no guarantee that Watson will lead this offense to the playoffs or a Super Bowl appearance. I agree that as of right now, he is a better option than Tua but I’m not ready to give up on the young kid just yet. Not when it is going to cost me everything I have.
Admittedly, it would be very difficult to just wave a potential trade off. The thought of Watson in Miami is fun to think about, but I can’t get past the price of him playing for the Dolphins.