Could Roger Goodell hold up Deshaun Watson trade to the Miami Dolphins?

Despite seeing flashes from Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins continue to be linked to Deshaun Watson in trade rumors.

Miami’s perceived interest in Watson dates back to when the reigning NFL passing yards champion requested a trade early this past offseason. Even with Watson’s legal situation unsettled off the field, the Fins continue to be linked to the talented Pro Bowl quarterback.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports has banged the drum on these rumors recently. Just last week, the NFL insider indicated that Houston is still demanding three first-round picks and either a couple second-round selections or two starter-caliber players in return for Deshaun Watson.

Robinson clarified that report on Tuesday, providing a rather interesting caveat in the process.

“As I said last week, if the Dolphins want Watson and offer Houston 3 1st round picks + a pair of 2nds, the only thing killing a deal would be Goodell refusing to give Miami significant clarity on the NFL investigation and when/if Watson could land on the exempt list in 2021,” Robinson noted.

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That lack of clarity remains a big hold up in trade talks. As you likely already know, Watson is facing allegations of sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault from north of 20 women in civil court. While he has yet to be charged criminally, the Houston Police Department continues to investigate the matter. Meanwhile, the FBI has gotten involved and the NFL itself has opened its own investigation under the guise of the personal conduct policy.

As we’ve read throughout the past few months, teams remain interested in Watson. At issue here is the aforementioned lack of clarity from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Co.

What should the Houston Texans do with Deshaun Watson?

Could Roger Goodell be holding up Deshaun Watson trade?

Deshaun Watson
Dec 27, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rolls out of the pocket against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Amid all of the legal drama surrounding Watson, he remains with the Texans at this late stage in the preseason. While the Pro Bowler has not suited up in a game and remains the fourth string signal caller, he did report to training camp.

The backdrop here is the NFL refusing to put Watson on paid administrative leave. The league’s version of this would be the Commissioner’s Exempt List. That this hasn’t happened yet is a pretty big surprise. It could also indicate that Goodell and Co. expect some sort of resolution on the matter ahead of Week 1. Even if that were to happen, a league-mandated suspension could be in the cards.

As for Miami’s perceived interest in Deshaun Watson, it’s hard to believe that the team would pull off a trade without further direction from the NFL. In addition to giving up multiple first-round picks, the aforementioned Tagovailoa would likely have to be involved in any trade.

With less than three weeks to go before Miami’s regular-season opener against the New England Patriots, it might be too late in the game for general manager Chris Grier to pull off a blockbuster of this ilk.

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