Should the Dolphins trade for QB Deshaun Watson?

Should Brian Flores trade for QB Deshaun Watson?

By: Cody Molla (@cmolla1)

The rumors have been swirling for months now and every NFL fan has heard about it. Deshaun Watson to the Miami Dolphins. It has been reported the Dolphins do have an interest in Deshaun Watson. Most teams should have an interest in Watson. Watson was recently ranked the 18th overall player in the NFL Top 100. Landing him behind five other quarterbacks only. Watsons rank is not a fluke. His skillset places him amongst the best at the position across the NFL. He led the NFL in passing yards last year with 4823 yards. Nearly 100 more yards than Patrick Mahomes. Watson also added over 400 rushing yards and threw for 33 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He single handily won the Texans four games it seemed like. For all the greatness on the field, the major issue right now is his pending allegations with 22 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct.

The Miami Dolphins current quarterback Tua Tagovailoa just left last week with a rib injury. Surely the Watson talks have picked up steam again. Hence this exact article. The biggest reason the Dolphins haven’t traded for him yet is the asking price. Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross does not involve himself in football operations however he has been reported saying the price is too much, but he does want Grier (Dolphins GM) to find a way to get Watson. Ross has for years wanted to find a franchise quarterback in Miami.

What if they paid the price of three first round and two second round picks? The obvious plus is you have Deshaun Watson. Watson is 26 years old, has four years of starting under his belt, nearly 15,000 passing yards, over 100 touchdowns, and three games of playoff experience. Those three games of playoff experience match the Dolphins total playoff games since 2001. Watson is a great player! The cons of doing this trade are you lose five premium draft picks. The Dolphins have recently been able to acquire those premium picks in recent trades with the Texans. The current football management of the Dolphins cherishes those picks and believes in rebuilding through the draft. The jury is out so far on the result.

Can a team be built that way? There is one current NFL team that is using this model. The LA Rams. With the recent acquisition of Matthew Stafford, the Rams are set to go seven consecutive years without a first round pick. They drafted Goff first overall in 2016 and tentatively have no first round pick till 2024. Goffs rookie year the Rams went 4-12. Made a coaching change in 2017, and have gone 45-22 including this year since. That includes three playoff appearances and a super bowl loss. It is possible to have success even with a player like Jared Goff at quarterback. Watson is way better than Goff. It is not solely based on quarterback however as the Rams have had one of if not the best defensive player in Aaron Donald as an anchor, a good offensive line, and strong defensive play. How would the Dolphins compare? An atrocious offensive line, with key defensive players like Xavien Howard and a strong defense all around.

The Dolphins recently had three first-round picks in the 2020 draft. They drafted Tua, Austin Jackson (OL), and Noah Igbenoghene (DB). As a Dolphins fan, I would trade these three players for Watson right now if Watson was guaranteed to suit up and play right away with no penalty. That’s not the case. Still, giving up these three players and getting Watson could be a great deal. The key here is the three picks are a lot of draft capital, high draft picks do not translate to a great player. Tua has had success so far as the Miami Dolphins quarterback. Austin Jackson is still learning a tough position to play at offensive tackle and has flashed but struggled, Igbenoghene hasn’t really done much of anything in-game and has been inactive for two games starting 2021 as a coach decision. Yes, the Dolphins DBs are deep and loaded but you would want a first round pick to be active on game day in some capacity.

It’s tough to say whether the pros outweigh the cons in this situation. Just because the Dolphins acquire Watson doesn’t make them super bowl bound or even playoff bound. With the given situation at the offensive line, Watson would be doing more running for his life and making insane plays on the run multiple times a drive. The Dolphins have brought in coaches and players specifically for Tua this year. The current build would fit Watson as he is a great player however it would seem a little odd to sell a player you put many chips in the pot for. What message does it send to the team as well? Yes the NFL is a cutthroat business and it’s a what have you done for me now league. However, after making such a big deal about Tua and doing all they have it would send mixed signals to others. It may as well fire up the rest of the locker room too knowing the organization is looking to win and improve.

Ultimately I don’t see a trade in season for Watson happening. The Dolphins will likely wait till the off season to do anything. They will once again have the most cap room of all NFL teams. They can see how this year plays out with Tua and his broken ribs. They also will get to see how the lawsuit develops and if and what punishment the NFL imposes on Watson as well. The legal dilemma adds a wrench to this case and will hold the key to Watsons NFL future. Any team with Watson at quarterback will be at an advantage.

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