As Dan Orlovsky reported on Sunday afternoon, the situation with Deshaun Watson in Houston is “worse than we feared.” Apparently, the 25-year-old quarterback might already have a preferred trade destination.
According to ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen, sources confirmed that the Miami Dolphins sit alone atop Watson’s desired destinations. The AFC East runner-ups could offer a competitive package if they wanted to go after the franchise quarterback.
Mortensen reminded fans that Watson currently has a “no-trade” clause in his contract, which he should be able to waive. The Texans would also demand a high price for them to be willing to swap the 25-year-old
“There is now a growing consensus that Watson will force his way out of Houston and we would command a high-compensation package if the Texans did indeed trade him,” Mortensen said on ESPN’s NFL Countdown per 247Sports. “Just a reminder: Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract. Sources confirm that the Dolphins remain a preferred destination and by the way, another side benefit is Florida no state taxes just like Texas.”
Chris Mortensen added that Deshaun Watson likes the culture Brian Flores has created in Miami and also that there are no state taxes there like in Texas.
Nothing is formal, still early in the off-season.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 17, 2021
The Dolphins emerged as a potential suitor for Watson earlier this offseason, but Mortensen’s report adds to the speculation. After Adam Schefter confirmed that many members of the the Texans organization fear the quarterback will leave, reconciliation seems unlikely.
Meanwhile, Miami claims to be committed to rising sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa. Dolphins ownership remain on record defending young quarterback as the team’s starter going into 2021, despite his struggles in the 2020 campaign.
In addition trading Tagovailoa, Miami will need to bundle a package of draft compensation to send to Houston. The Dolphins are uniquely situated to do so based on a prior trade with the Texans in 2019. However, the price will be high and could set Miami back in the draft for multiple years.
Even so, when a talent like Watson is on the table, almost any price will be worth it. The 25-year-old, paired with the Dolphins deep defense could instantly turn Miami into an AFC contender.