The NFL trade deadline for the 2021 season is about two weeks away, but it sounds like there is potential a blockbuster trade could be happening soon. According to John McClain from the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins may be closing in on a trade sending Deshaun Watson to South Florida. McClain writes, “The Texans could finally be getting closer to trading quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Miami Dolphins...a deal could go down this week, according to people familiar with the negotiations...[and if they are] unable to consummate the trade this week, they want to get it done by the league’s deadline.”
The rumors surrounding Watson and the Dolphins have swirled since the offseason after the quarterback declared his intentions to never play for the Texans again. Holding a no-trade clause in his contract, Watson is believed to have named the Dolphins his preferred landing spot. A deal could likely have been done earlier if not for over 20 women alleging Watson sexually assaulted them. The majority of those allegations have been made in civil cases against Watson, though there are some criminal complaints as well. Watson’s cases primarily stem from massage therapists who have alleged inappropriate touching from Watson, as well as demands for inappropriate actions by Watson.
Miami also used a top-10 draft pick on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 2020. Giving up on a top prospect so quickly after selecting him is rare.
McClain adds the Dolphins and Texans have spoken about Watson “off and on for months” but now those discussions “have intensified into serious negotiations.”
The Texans are believed to be asking for at least three first-round draft picks and two second-round picks in return for Watson. Teams have balked at both that cost in general, and in return for a player who may be suspended by the NFL or could face more serious criminal ramifications from the allegations against him.
Miami could be getting desperate, however, as the team has lost five straight games - including last weekend’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars who were 0-5 on the season heading into the game and on a 20-game losing streak. The Dolphins were expected to be a playoff contender this year, but now appear headed for another losing season where the could earn a top-10 draft pick - though that pick belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles as part of a trade during this year’s selection process.
The Texans have made Watson inactive every week this season. He is continuing to work out at the team facilities and attend meetings.
Miami faces the Atlanta Falcons this weekend before a meeting with the Buffalo Bills in Week 8. Buffalo beat Miami 35-0 in Week 2.
The Dolphins then host the Texans in a Week 9 clash.