The Miami Dolphins have started preparing for the 2021 NFL season with Tua Tagovailoa poised to take a leap in his second year with the franchise. But for all the excitement in Miami surrounding the former No. 5 pick, the door might not be closed on a quarterback trade.
Miami set high expectations for Tagovailoa in his rookie season. While the former Alabama star showed flashes, he also held this offense back at times. The Dolphins’ defense often did the heavy lifting in victories, generating buzz about how things would look in 2021.
- Tua Tagovailoa stats: 6-3 record, 64.1% completion rate, 11-5 TD-INT ratio, 87.1 passer rating, 181.4 pass yards/game, 6.3 ypa
The Dolphins were committed to Tagovailoa, but everything got thrown for a loop in February. Deshaun Watson demanded a trade and while the Houston Texans refused, many expected the franchise to eventually relent. When that moment arrived, countless NFL rumors connected Miami to the MVP-caliber quarterback.
All of that gone thrown out the window after the first of 22 women accused Watson of sexual assault and harassment. While the legal matters are being handled, he is still being investigated by the NFL and potentially faces a multi-game suspension.
Once the civil suits are settled and the league hands out potential discipline, things could accelerate quickly. Houston is ready to move on from the 25-year-old quarterback opening the door for a blockbuster trade.
Will the Miami Dolphins trade for Deshaun Watson?
As mandatory minicamp approaches, Tagovailoa is firmly entrenched as the Dolphins’ quarterback. But things could change if Watson settles with his accusers and the NFL star avoids a lengthy suspension.
“The Dolphins are committed to Tua and building around him, unless Deshaun Watson becomes a possibility again. There’s a quarterback or two out there that could distract them from their commitment to Tua.”NFL insider Dan Graziano on Get Up regarding Miami Dolphins’ quarterback plans
Miami likely would have needed to packaga Tagovailoa with three-first-round picks. It would be a historic return for Houston, but one that reflects the value of a young, elite quarterback who is capable of winning the Super Bowl.
The Texans’ opportunity to receive that level of compensation is gone. There are still a few teams interested in acquiring Watson, but not nearly as many as before.
Miami doesn’t own its 2022 first-round pick, the result of moving up to No. 6 for Jaylen Waddle. But the franchise owns the San Francisco 49ers’ first-round picks for the next two seasons. More importantly for Houston, the Dolphins would likely part with Tagovailoa.
Landing a quarterback with All-Pro talent would turn Miami into a Super Bowl contender, but a trade for Watson seems unlikely. Given the value this front office places on draft picks and its firm believe in its current starting quarterback, expect Tagovailoa to be staying in Miami for at least two more years.