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Dolphins Rumors: Deshaun Watson No Longer Trade Target; Tua Tagovailoa to be QB

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2022

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are reportedly moving on from the idea of acquiring quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the chances of the Dolphins trading for Watson are "greatly diminished, if not gone" now that Brian Flores has been fired as head coach.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport added that the Dolphins organization believes in Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, and he will be the starter in 2022 "barring some sort of unforeseen occurrence."

Miami was among the teams linked to Watson as a potential trade destination throughout the 2021 season, but there reportedly wasn't organization-wide interest in the move.

Schefter reported that it was Flores who wanted to explore a trade for Watson, while owner Stephen Ross was against it.

Conversely, ProFootballTalk reported that someone with knowledge of the situation said Ross was "obsessed" with the idea of trading for Watson.

Watson did not play at all in 2021. He requested a trade out of Houston in the offseason and then faced 24 allegations of sexual misconduct or assault from women he hired to perform massages, including 22 civil lawsuits and 10 police investigations.

Watson is set to be deposed in the civil lawsuits in February.

The 26-year-old Watson is among the top signal-callers in the NFL, with three Pro Bowl nods in four seasons.

The Texans only managed to finish 4-12 last season, but Watson enjoyed the best year of his career statistically, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also rushing for 444 yards and three scores.

Watson led the Texans to the playoffs twice in his four seasons, beating the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round in 2019 before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.

While Watson is an elite talent, trading with him would come with risk due to the possibility of him facing league discipline or perhaps even jail time.

Instead, reports suggest Miami will roll with Tua, whom the Dolphins selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

As a rookie, Tagovailoa split time as the starter with Ryan Fitzpatrick and posted a 6-3 record for a Dolphins team that narrowly missed the playoffs despite going 10-6.

Expectations were sky-high for the Dolphins entering 2021, but a seven-game losing streak threw them off track. Miami became the first team in NFL history to have seven-game losing and winning streaks in the same season.

Ultimately, a loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 ended the Dolphins' playoff hopes, but they finished the season on a high note by beating the New England Patriots 33-24 in Week 18 to complete a 9-8 season.

All told, Tua went 7-5 as a starter and completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 2,653 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while also rushing for 128 yards and three scores.

In 2022, the Dolphins will look to gain ground on the Bills and Patriots, who both finished ahead of them in the AFC East in 2021.

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