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Brian Flores: Tua Tagovailoa is Dolphins quarterback for 2021

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have their quarterback. At least for the remainder of the 2021 season. While there are still reports the Dolphins are pursing Deshaun Watson, the embattled and disgruntled Houston Texans quarterback, it finally appears some of the speculation can slow down. Head coach Brian Flores, meeting with the media on Friday, was pressed about the quarterback situation, with him agreeing that Tagovailoa, barring any injuries, is the team’s quarterback for the remainder of the 2021 season.

That would seem to indicate the Dolphins are not planning to acquire Watson and install him as the team’s starter. It does not necessarily end the idea of Miami pursuing Watson, but it does give Tagovailoa a vote of confidence from the coach.

Will the Dolphins still try to bring in Watson and sit him behind Tagovailoa for the rest of the year? That seems like a lot of draft capital and money to spend, only to have a player sit on the bench. It also adds more pressure to Tagovailoa, with the likelihood that, with every incomplete pass, the crowd will be calling for Watson.

If the Dolphins and Texans are going to finalize a trade, they have until Tuesday at 4pm ET to beat the league’s trade deadline.

Miami could also plan to look at Tagovailoa as the team’s starter for the rest of the year, then assess if they need to trade for Watson in the offseason. That would also allow time for more clarity on Watson’s legal situation as he currently faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct, along with a criminal investigation into some of those allegations. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is believed to be in agreement with spending the capital needed to acquire Watson, but would like the legal issues, and any actions from the league, to be cleared prior to making the deal.

It seems as though Miami may be remaining in the Watson discussions, but with an eye to doing any deal with 2022 in mind.

Flores’ statement would indicate Tagovailoa will be the team’s starter throughout the rest of the year.

Unless something changes.