Which Miami Dolphins story is more annoying?: Watson or Howard

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 15: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins lines up under center during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 15: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins lines up under center during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

We’re seven days away from the start of training camp and we fans are starting to pull Homer Simpsons and go crazy due to the lack of actual Miami Dolphins on-field football activities. The Tua/Watson rumors and Xavien Howard contract situation is only adding to our collective psychosis.

This phenomenon happens every year during the football calendar. It’s a time right before training camp starts and not much is really going on and all the beat writers, bloggers, and guys like me who get to call themselves contributors scramble to think of something interesting to write about like depth charts, top players heading into camp, and fantasy formations like the super-wildcat. Like you, we’re all dying just to see the actual players on an actual field doing anything that remotely looks like a football activity.

However, this year seems to have taken on a life of its own in terms of Dolphin’s content. Maybe because the Dolphins actually have real expectations or that they have high-profile players that people actually care about. The fact remains that every day it seems like something is happening with this team even when things should be a bit dormant. Something gets jettisoned into the Dolphin’s ether that everyone loses their minds over. And that something is typically either the Tua/Deshaun Watson rumors or the Xavien Howard contract situation.

Both of these, to me, are extremely annoying situations that every day we as Miami Dolphin’s fans have to deal with it. I realize that it’s not like we’re trying to pick up our lives due to a natural disaster destroying our homes or anything like that but you can’t tell me it’s not nearly insufferable when you try and waste some time on the line only to see a Miami Dolphin’s fans civil war breaking out concerning these two topics.

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It must be said that both stories or whatever you want to call them are annoying. Why? Because both are possible to happen and that nothing really has changed over the last few months with either situation. Watson’s legal issues haven’t changed and Howard’s contract hasn’t changed and we’ve known for a while that he was going to do exactly what he has been doing. What makes them doubly annoying are the folks out there who think either there’s nothing to see here with the Watson rumors and that the Howard situation is cut and dry.

But which situation is actually more annoying to deal with as fans? Which story makes your eyes roll back in your head to near Undertaker levels? I, selfishly, went out searching for that answer by asking some well-known Miami Dolphin fans what they thought was the more annoying story.

Sordi of the Fins or Die Podcast, who is making his second appearance in a Phin Phanatic article in the last few weeks who is public enemy #1 to many other fan bases had this to say;

"Xavien Howard situation is infinitely more annoying because we have an All Pro, face of our franchise player who we’ve managed to make unhappy 1 year into a 5 year deal"

Anthony Giandiletti who is the host of the wonderful The Finsports Football Podcast response was …

"I think the Deshaun situation is more annoying. Both are true and have validity. But X is pretty much a certainty that he’s getting traded. So I understand the talk about that. However, the Deshaun situation is more frustrating because nothing can happen right now due to legal issues. Miami was about to trade 3 1sts and 2 defensive players (most likely X and Wilkins) to HOU before the allegations came out. So while the reports are true, and technically he’d be a Dolphin right now if the allegations never surfaced, they ultimately did. Miami can’t do anything until next offseason, and for people to keep talking about it is pretty redundant."

Hussam Patel, a real up and comer in the Dolphin’s community, who is the curator of @dolphins_ATB of the Around the Block network went with…

"I definitely do think it would be irresponsible for the Organization to not check up on the availability of Deshaun Watson. As of now I do not think the Dolphins or any team for that matter would pull the trigger pending Watsons legal issues. Chris Grier is known for always listening in and if he sees an opportunity arise, ala Laremy Tunsil, he could consider. With the investment’s the Organization and team has made it’s looking like they are all in on Tua Tagovailoa."

Frank the Tank of Barstool Sports, who drew the shortest straw in the history of straws in terms of fan allegiance by being not just a Dolphin’s fan but also a Mets fan was kind of enough to give me his take on this important question;

"The Howard bothers me. I am sick of the Dolphins trading away players on the verge of stardom. It’s more indication they are spinning their wheels"

Jeremy Klump writes for YOUR Phin Phanatics of FanSided and also for @HailFloridaHail, who smokes the finest of meats this side of the Schuylkill River doesn’t think it’s too early to celebrate Festivus and begin the airing of grievances;

"That’s like picking if you want to finish last or second to last. Both have been terrible, but it isn’t about the stories as much as the fans. Miami Dolphins fans have made both situations unbearable. The Tua/Watson situation is so toxic because there is a line drawn in the sand, and good luck if you are like me and haven’t picked a side… The Howard situation is terrible, too, because you have the glass half-full fans acting like nothing is wrong when there is clearly something wrong. If I had to pick which one was the worst of the two, I’d probably go with the Tua/Watson situation. But I’m sure if you ask me tomorrow, I will change my mind because of how irrational some Dolphins fans have been regarding the Howard situation."

Finally, I asked Josh Houtz of @ThePhinsider, who is half of the hosts of PhinsiderRadio, who also writes/contributes/helps out for @operationsports, @5ReasonsSports, and operates @LeftArmofGod while also spending time as a greeter at the Desert Inn believes

"The Tua Tagovailoa/Deshaun Watson situation is far more annoying because it seems very unlikely Deshaun Watson will play in 2021. Furthermore, to suggest a team is going to trade for a quarterback (knee-deep in legal troubles) before the season begins is insanity. And let’s not overlook the ‘rEcEnT nEwS’ that the Dolphins were one of several teams still monitoring the situation, which is precisely what Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle said two months ago. #FakeNewsTua Tagovailoa is the Dolphins QB1 heading into this season, and I don’t foresee that changing soon. The sooner the puppets in the national media come to terms with this, the better. The Dolphins spent all offseason getting Tagovailoa the weapons WE ALL HOPED FOR! #LETTUACOOKIn the end, we only have seven more days of this nonsense. Before EVERYONE will be clamoring for The Left Arm of God, Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa."

Before I unveil my pulsar level hot take on which story is more annoying let me lay out the case for each annoying story.

ORCHARD PARK, NY – JANUARY 03: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins waits for the snap during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on January 3, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY – JANUARY 03: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins waits for the snap during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on January 3, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /


The Xavien Howard situation, to quote Otto Rocket, straight up stinks on ice. It’s always funny when you watch other fan bases go through the agony of having to deal with their star player holding out and asking for more money. That’s fun. What’s not as fun is when it happens to your team. It’s not fun at all and we’re dealing with the uncertainty every day.

I understand both Howard’s point of view and the Miami Dolphins’ stance. The Dolphins signed Howard to what was at the time was the most lucrative contract a cornerback ever received back in 2019. Naturally and obviously, that record was only going to last a few months. Howard was well compensated for his past and potential future and last year he did something that hasn’t been done in about 15 years and that was record double-digit INTs. He was a force of nature that couldn’t be dealt with which was the point of the Dolphin’s defensive approach. That approach was to send help to the other side of the field where Byron Jones was and dare teams to test Howard. They tested Howard and they almost always lost. The thing is Jones is making more money than Howard but doesn’t have to be as sharp due to having more safety help. I think that’s the crux of the issue for Howard and I fully understand it.

Xavien Howard
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Potentially, and I would just about guarantee is that Howard gets traded. Not fun at all but that’s the business. What’s a really annoying aspect is that again I’m calling out some fans here, but the ones that say that Howard should honor the contract he was given and willingly signed back in 2019. Besides the obvious flipside of that argument which is Howard asking for more money for exceeded his value, no person from any line of work would ever give money back to their employer if they asked them to due to a dip in production.

Howard along with every other professional athlete has a small window of time to make a ridiculous amount of money. So, I have no issue with any professional athlete trying to squeeze every last dollar out of an organization if they have the juice to do it. Save the if Miami gives in to Howard that they’re setting a precedent line for someone else because Miami will probably not have a player as good as Howard asking for money like this. Middle-of-the-road linebackers can’t do what Howard is attempting. Also, who wants to be on the side of management?

The Decision

Like LeBron, I have a very tough choice to make here. After considering everything I learned from my terrific panel of Dolphin’s fans that I hope share the hell out of this blog/article, and the thoughts that I personally had, I have chosen that the Xavien Howard contract situation is the more annoying story.

Congratulations to Xavien Howard and the Miami Dolphins for being chosen by me.

My main reasoning for this is that with the Tua/Watson rumors, no matter what the outcome is I can convince myself that it was the right move and give reasons why that quarterback will succeed. If and when Howard gets traded, yeah, the Dolphins will probably get a 1st round pick but losing a player as good as Howard is irreplaceable and simply feels awful. I know Noah Igbinoghene has been progressing but he’s no Xavien Howard.

Also, losing Howard just perpetuates the idea, which is turning into gospel, that the Dolphins can’t keep their drafted stars. Like Frank the Tank and Sordi said, not being able to keep your best players is a problem.

I have both a Howard and Tua jersey so if something happens to one of them, another jersey added to my collection of past Dolphins at my parent’s house will be happening much sooner than I expected. What if both Tua and Howard are gone within the next few months? I shudder to think how the planet will literally not explode if that doomsday scenario occurs. Let’s pray that everything works out. Yes, let’s do that as we get closer to training camp. Let’s just get to training camp and let us feel all feel tingly as we watch guys hit the sled and catch one-handed passes on the regular. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.

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