Four teams impacted by rumored Deshaun Watson-Dolphins trade talks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Miami Dolphins could be on the hunt for a new quarterback. A report surfaced Wednesday that the Houston Texans could trade star quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Dolphins ahead of the Nov. 2 trade deadline.
Watson, who has yet to play a game this year amid league troubles, reportedly would approve a trade to Miami. The Dolphins, led by 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa, lost their fourth straight game last Sunday in London to the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the Dolphins are able to acquire Watson, it would likely mean that Tagovailoa could be on the move as well. A number of teams have surfaced as reported suitors for both Watson and Tagovailoa’s services.
Here are four teams that could be impacted the most by the reported deal.
The Eagles currently have Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback. Hurts has played well at times this year, but he has lacked the consistency needed to lead Philadelphia to wins each week. He’s thrown for 1,480 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions so far this season.
While the Eagles haven’t announced any plans to move on from Hurts, the team reportedly had “recent discussions” with the Texans about Watson’s availability. The Dolphins trading for Watson would directly affect the Eagles, who own Miami’s 2022 first-round pick. With the team likely getting better, that pick would be lower in the draft than that top-three spot Philadelphia currently holds now.
Watson reportedly doesn’t have any interest in playing for the Eagles, but his thoughts may change if they are the only team willing to take a chance on him. In a competitive market for a quarterback, it’s not out of the question that Hurts’ struggles motivate the Eagles to explore the possibility of adding Watson.
New England Patriots
The AFC East is about as wide open as ever this season. The Buffalo Bills sit at the top of the division at 4-2, with the Patriots, New York Jets and Dolphins all within a game of each other for second place. The Dolphins appear to be in desperation mode if they are willing to give up on Tagovailoa so quickly. If the Dolphins are able to acquire Watson, he could turn the direction of the team around and make them instant contenders with the Bills for the division crown.
That’s bad news for the Patriots, who are still going through some growing pains with rookie QB Mac Jones. New England’s defense has been a strong point this season, but will they be able to handle a Watson-led offense featuring Mike Geseki, Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller V, who played with Watson in Houston. Adding Watson to the division might just bring more headaches for Bill Belichick and Co. as they attempt to build with their young quarterback.
Washington Football Team
As news broke of the Texans-Dolphins report, Washington was rumored to be a potential landing spot for Tagovailoa, but a source close to the situation told NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay that the team is not expected to make a move for the Dolphins quarterback.
Washington currently has Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen on its roster. It’s entirely possible that the team doesn’t see any of its three quarterbacks as a long-term starter and takes a chance on Tagovailoa. Washington reportedly isn’t thrilled with many of the top QB options projected to enter the 2022 NFL Draft, either.
Tagovailoa’s availability raises the question that Washington fans have been wanting to answer for almost a decade: When will the team make a league-altering move to acquire a franchise quarterback? For a franchise that hasn’t drafted a first-round QB since Robert Griffin III in 2012, looking at all of the options would be wise.
The Denver Broncos signed Teddy Bridgewater in the offseason to be the starter with hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time since their Super Bowl run in 2015. Denver started out the 2021 season strong, winning their first three games, but have struggled in games against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders.
The Broncos have a mix of young and veteran talent that could look to add an elite passer to their roster. Denver only has one first-round pick in 2022 and 2023, making it difficult to meet the Texans’ asking price. The Broncos might be better off revisiting the QB trade market next season, especially if Aaron Rodgers is available, but a Watson move to the Dolphins would mean that the Broncos might have to wait another couple of years to end their playoff drought.