The Miami Dolphins have become a popular name being floated around to trade for disgruntled Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. While the idea may sound great on the surface, it would actually be a terrible move.
Let’s get the thought of how cool it would be if Watson was on the Dolphins out of the way. Yes, it would be fun and awesome to say the Dolphins had Watson as their starting quarterback. He would make the hype for the Dolphins in 2021 skyrocket, and people would be more likely to tune-in and watch them play. His Dolphins jersey would probably become a top 5 most sold jersey. However, does any of that really matter? No. And to be honest, the hype of it all is actually the only reason people are really entertaining this idea, a terrible idea.
While the hype would be real and fun, would it actually increase the Dolphins’ chance to win a Super Bowl? Take the hype out of the equation and look at it through a team-building lens. If you do that, you will see it doesn’t help the Dolphins get closer to winning a Super Bowl. It actually hurts their chances to win a Super Bowl, and history supports this. When was the last time a team traded essential assets for a veteran quarterback, and it led to a Super Bowl?
I’m not talking about the times of football where we would need a time machine to remember; I’m talking about recent history. I’ll help save you the time; teams don’t win Super Bowls after giving up significant assets to trade for veteran quarterbacks. Why? Even though the quarterback position is the most important on the field, building a team around the quarterback is just as important, if not even more critical, unless you have Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes.
If the Dolphins traded for Watson, they would have to give up so many assets, let me rephrase that, too many assets, and they would be unable to build a championship roster.
Watson’s big issue with the Texans was their inability to build around him. Ironically, Watson would be stepping into an even worse offense that wouldn’t really improve for two or more years because of the trade. Tight end Mike Gesicki has earned his way into the legitimate starting tight end conversation, so that would be an upgrade, but what about the other positions?
DeVante Parker would be the No. 3 wide receiver on the Texans, and if this trade was made, he’d sadly remain the No. 1 receiver on the Dolphins. Myles Gaskin showed promise, but the Texans have two running backs that you could argue are better than him. Dolphins fans have also been begging for a new running back this offseason for a reason. While the offensive line has improved, they still need to upgrade this offseason, and trading for Watson likely wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Watson is 1-2 in the playoffs, so he isn’t some transcending talent that takes his teams deep into the playoffs, regardless of who he has around him. He needs a strong supporting cast, as do most NFL quarterbacks. You can argue it was his team’s fault he didn’t go far, but save that excuse for him when the Dolphins don’t make the playoffs after giving up tons of assets if they acquire him. I’ll go even further to say, if the Dolphins trade for Watson, they won’t even be able to win the AFC East, which is another aspect of how terrible this idea is.
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Look at the Buffalo Bills and how they have built their team. The Bills drafted Josh Allen and have stayed committed to building around him. The trades they have made were not to give up all their assets for a quarterback who has an extensive injury history like Watson, but instead, they make trades to build around their 1st round quarterback and make their TEAM better, not just their quarterback room. Why did they do that, and why should the Dolphins do that? Well, when you strengthen the spots around the quarterback, you also strengthen the quarterback.
If you want to argue that Tua Tagovailoa is not as good as Allen, that is fine. The New York Jets made it to back-to-back AFC Championship games with Mark Sanchez at quarterback because of how strongly they built their team. We all know that Sanchez was not why the Jets were good, and Tagovailoa is 10x the quarterback Sanchez was.
The Dolphins are picking 3rd and 18th in the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 3rd pick, for the 3rd worst team in the NFL, is from Watson’s 4-12 Texans. Instead of trading for Watson, the Dolphins should use that 3rd pick he gifted them from the 2020 season to get a superstar or acquire even more assets. Watson has a better chance of helping the Dolphins win a Super Bowl with the 3rd pick instead of playing for the Dolphins.
In today’s media-driven narrative NFL, the Dolphins need to make sure they do not get caught in the hype, but instead, make the smart decision to build around Tagovailoa. Trading for Watson would be terrible.