The Miami Dolphins were heavily linked to Deshaun Watson ahead of the trade deadline, but the Houston Texans might have to look elsewhere for a deal this offseason.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, head coach Brian Flores "was a significant reason why Deshaun Watson wanted to be in Miami."
The situation has likely changed after the Dolphins fired Flores on Monday after three seasons with the team. The coach went 24-25 during his time in Miami, posting winning records in each of the past two years.
Miami had been considered a potential landing spot for Watson over the past year, with the team reportedly offering three first-round picks and two second-round picks for the quarterback in November, per Fox Sports' Jay Glazer (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald).
A holdup was the 22 civil lawsuits against Watson alleging sexual assault or sexual misconduct. Miami owner Stephen Ross wanted either a resolution to the lawsuits or draft-pick protection from the Texans, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.
Watson did not play the entire 2021 season as he sought a trade, although he remained on the active roster.
Houston still plans to trade the quarterback, with the team targeting a deal before the start of the league year on March 16, per Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Texans could use the assets as they rebuild from their 4-13 season, while rookie quarterback David Mills likely has showed enough to be part of the future.
Miami, meanwhile, might not even be in the market for a quarterback after Tua Tagovailoa played well over the second half of the season. The second-year player finished with a 90.1 quarterback rating in 13 games, and the Dolphins were 7-5 with Tagovailoa as a starter.
Watson could still be in high demand in the offseason, but the Dolphins might no longer be the favorite to land the three-time Pro Bowler.