Deshaun Watson to Dolphins? But at what cost?

Trading for disgruntled Texans QB would likely meaning parting ways with 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa
Deshaun Watson and Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins trade rumors
Posted at 9:23 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 09:23:43-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — By now, it's hardly a secret that Deshaun Watson wants out of Houston.

It's been widely reported that the Texans quarterback is unhappy with the front office about the process that led to the recent hiring of general manager Nick Caserio.

In fact, Watson is so unhappy that he removed all references to the team from his social media pages and has reportedly requested a trade, along with a wish list of teams he'd like to play for in 2021.

At the top of his list is the New York Jets, followed by the Miami Dolphins, according to the Miami Herald.

"The Miami Dolphins, to me, would be the No. 1 destination," former NFL defensive end and current ESPN "NFL Live" panelist Marcus Spears said Friday.

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith also touted the Dolphins as the top destination for Watson.

But would the Dolphins be interested, just a year after selecting Tua Tagovailoa in the first round of the draft?

Tagovailoa enters the 2021 season as Miami's starting quarterback after splitting time with Ryan Fitzpatrick last year.

Caserio has already said he has "zero interest" in trading for Watson, who was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 draft, and new head coach David Culley said he took the job knowing Watson was the quarterback.

But would the Texans really want a disgruntled player to be the face of their franchise? Given the dirty laundry that has unfolded over the last month, it seems unlikely at this point that Watson, who signed a contract extension in September that goes through the 2025 season, will play for Houston again.

Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he would have final say on his next destination. The Texans could also elect not to trade him, at which point Watson could sit out and incur fines up to $50,000 per day until he finds a suitor that meets his liking.

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson vs. Miami Dolphins in 2018
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson runs against the Miami Dolphins during the first half, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Houston.

So what would it take for Miami to make a trade?

The Dolphins would likely need to give Houston back its first-round pick from the Laremy Tunsil trade, in addition to Miami's own first-round pick. The Dolphins currently own the No. 3 and No. 18 picks in this year's draft.

It's unlikely that Tagovailoa would remain in Miami as a backup, so any deal would probably have to include the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Would Miami be willing to part with two first-round picks in 2021, another first-round pick in 2022 and Tagovailoa?

That seems like a pricey proposition for a team that has shown its commitment to building through the draft under head coach Brian Flores, but the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff deal just goes to show that anything is possible in the NFL.

Stay tuned.