On Wednesday, Miami Dolphins general manager, Chris Grier, spoke with the media for the first time this year and it could have gone better.
It is a bit surprising to see Grier speak to the media in mid-season. Mostly his time in front of the media is reserved for outside the season but the trade deadline just passed and of course, Deshaun Watson remains with the Texans. Did the Dolphins flirt with Watson? Of course they did and Grier confirmed it.
When asked, with the first question, why the Dolphins pursued Watson, Grier said it was his job as the GM to do whatever he could to make the team better by exploring all options. “I would say it’s my job as general manager to always investigate every avenue of players that potentially may or may not be available.”
Grier deflected the Tua Tagovailoa talk saying that they have all the confidence in him. He said that like any position on the field, if you can add a top player at any position you explore it. And the Dolphins definitely did that but quarterback is a different position that receiver or running back. The QB is supposed to be the face of the franchise, the leader on and off the field and the Dolphins just tried to “explore” trading for a QB with a rather cloudy off field legal issue. That isn’t simply a matter of trying to land an Aaron Rodgers or a Drew Brees type. We are talking about a top 5 QB with a lot of legal issues going on that will be distraction upon arrival. And yet the Dolphins still wanted him over Tua.
Grier said that the team has done their own investigations into the Watson situation and said that in the end they did their due diligence and decided to not make the trade. This is important because Grier would later be asked some questions that would almost seem to move him backwards. While Grier said that the report of Miami wanting non-disclosure agreements or settlements from the 22 named plaintiffs “pisses him off” and “categorically false” the statements were made.
Grier was asked if he spoke with any women in the offices about whether they would feel safe or not with Watson and Grier said that the discussions never reached that far but they went far enough for Stephen Ross to ask for permission to speak with Watson on Monday night. That would give the impression that it went that far.
"It was still us just doing our due diligence, just talking through things. Again, we never got to a point where anything was that close to happening and of course, if that was happening, we definitely would have thought about that and done something.” – Chris Grier"
Grier says that probably 90% of what has been said out there over the last few months is false and I would venture to guess that while that number is probably lower, I do believe that to be the case for some of the stuff.
What we do know is that the Dolphins find themselves once again at the center of controversy. It isn’t the first time. Ross’ flirtation with Jim Harbaugh that caused a major irreparable rift between Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano. A bullying scandal that cost coaches and trainers their jobs, a player their position on the roster, and an outside NFL sanctioned investigation.
Now, here we are again. Time will blow this over like the others eventually did but for all of what Grier was trying to accomplish yesterday, it seems as though someone didn’t do a very good job of properly prepping for it.
Despite his “we investigated” and the fact he said they can’t simply deny every rumor, he deflected again when asked about pursing Watson after the season saying only they needed to finish the season and evaluate the roster like they do every year, so yeah, in February or March we should see this talk rise to the top again.
Overall, Grier speaking to the media at all mid-season was not only a good thing but it was needed. The prep work could have been better and should have been. There was a lot left to discuss and some things that really didn’t make a lot of sense overall. There wasn’t much clarity to the situation but we knew there wouldn’t be. What we do know, with certainty, is that Tua is, as Brian Flores continued to say, the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. How long after the season ends? That will be a topic for discussion later. For now, we need to get back to football.