There have been many rumors swirling around over the past few weeks regarding where Deshaun Watson will be playing in the upcoming 2021 season. Now is the time to put these rumors to bed and start preparing for Free Agency and the upcoming draft with the expectation that Tua Tagovailoa will be the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins in the upcoming season.

First, it must be said that Deshaun Watson is a talented quarterback, and some would call him an elite quarterback. 2020 was statistically his best season on record, as he threw a career-high in yards (4,823), touchdowns (33), he had a career-high passer rating (112.4) and a career-low in interceptions (7). However, his 2019 statistics were not as good that season; the Texans made it to the AFC Playoffs as a Wild Card team, where they beat the Buffalo Bills in the first round but lost in the next round to the Kansas City Chiefs. If 2020 could teach us anything, Watson cannot make it to the playoffs on his own and needs a quality team around him.

However, let’s look at a few factors as to why the Miami Dolphins will not be bringing in Watson:

All of the rumors are coming from Deshaun Watson’s camp:

Since the news broke on January 10th that Watson would consider waiving his no-trade clause to accept a trade to the Miami Dolphins, there have not been any reports from the Houston Texans or the Miami Dolphins would be something that either team would be interested in. In fact, reports this week reveal that Watson has not approached the Texans regarding a trade, and nothing has reportedly leaked from the Dolphins that this would be something they’d be interested in. In fact, on January 15th, Coach Flores reaffirmed the franchise’s commitment to Tua by saying, “A lot of attention gets paid to Tua, but I thought he made a lot of improvement over the course of the season.”

This is not an Arizona Cardinals/Josh Rosen/Kyler Murray situation:

You rarely see a top 10 quarterback drafted one season and then traded the next. However, the Arizona Cardinals did draft Josh Rosen, with the #10 pick during the 2018 season, but then during the 2019 draft, the Cards took Kyler Murray with the #1 spot, which led to Rosen being traded during the same draft. With the Cardinals having the worst record in the NFL during Rosen’s first season, the Cards GM Steve Keim fired Steve Wilks then signed new coach Kliff Kingsbury. Bringing in a new coach made it easier to give up on Rosen, who has arguably not been on a team with talented players surrounding him since joining the league.

The Miami Dolphins are not in the same situation as the Cardinals.  GM Chris Grier and Coach Flores are entering the 3rd year of a team rebuild. By selecting Tua Tagovailoa with their #5 pick during the 2020 draft, they, in essence, made him the franchise quarterback. With the Dolphins coming off a 10-6 record, no jobs are at risk in the front office, and trading Tua now would not only be a blemish on Coach Flores’s coaching record, but it would also be a huge blow to Chris Grier’s short General Manager record.

If we have learned anything from the Grier/Flores partnership in the two years they have been together, they try to accumulate draft picks for upcoming drafts and not trade picks away for player capital.  This was also not a common trait with the New England Patriots championship rosters.

We have not seen the best of Tua Tagovailoa:

As a rookie quarterback in the NFL coming back from a severe injury, Tua performed as well as you could expect. Without traditional OTA’s or a preseason, Tua performed better than some other past rookie quarterbacks performed in prior seasons who had those preseason luxuries. Although his statistics were not consistently great, he did end the season with a 6-3 record. Part of the lack of quarterback statistics can be attributed to the Dolphins’ defense having a stellar 2020 season, a conservative play-calling offensive coordinator to prevent interceptions and the lack of consistent solid play from his teammates (which was a similar issue that Watson encountered this season).  But clearly, based on his stellar college record, Tua is far from his success ceiling.

During the 2021 offseason, Tua can look forward to a new offensive coordinator, a full offseason to include OTA’s, practice with his timing drills with his pass-catchers, preseason games, and improvements in the wide receiver and running back rooms. With the Dolphins planning to be active in Free Agency and plenty of draft picks in the upcoming NFL draft, it will not surprise anyone if both offensive units look very different in the upcoming season.

You don’t have to look much further than Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills to see how team development and player development help a quarterback’s production. Imagine where the Bills would be today if they gave up on Allen after his first season when he started 12 games and ended the year with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. You really can’t be much worse than that!  Instead of looking to upgrade at quarterback and kicking Allen out the back door, Coach Sean McDermott chose to build around him, which has led to Josh having an MVP caliber season and the Bills being one win away from participating in the upcoming Super Bowl.

Miami Dolphins coaching changes:

The Dolphins coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball has seen a significant change in personnel. With Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey resigning, the Dolphins also made changes to their offensive line coach by promoting Lemuel Jeanpierre. And on Saturday, the Dolphins announced that Charlie Frye would be taking over as quarterbacks’ coach. Reports surfaced on Saturday that Frye was Tua’s coach at the Elite 11 when Tua won the 7v7 title, and reportedly, the chemistry was built during the session between Frye and Tua.

Surrounding Tua with familiar faces makes it appear that Coach Flores is trying to find coaches that can get the best out of Tua, which would improve his overall production. The important offensive coordinator position remains open for the Dolphins as of this writing. Although many OC positions have been filled so far this offseason, the Dolphins may be waiting for the Buffalo Bills to lose either in the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl to promote Ken Dorsey from the Buffalo Bills coaching staff, where he is currently the quarterback’s coach. And, this may make the most sense of a hire, as he has done wonders for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills the past two seasons.


In closing, it looks like Deshaun Watson has really created controversy this offseason with his “leaks” about wanting to leave the Houston Texans. Unfortunately, the Miami Dolphins and faithful Dolphins fan base have been caught in the crosshairs of his mess. The most probable scenario will be that the Texans make amends with Watson, and he will continue to play for the team. All that ends up happening with this “rumor” are extra clicks to reporters’ websites writing about all the possibilities and “anonymous” players making unflattering comments about other players.

Grab your popcorn and nachos, as this offseason will continue to be a fun one.

Fins Up!