I know that everyone is more than tired of hearing about the Deshawn Watson rumors as they are related to the Miami Dolphins. But Kevins’ latest post on Watson got me to thinking. The Texans are saying that they are not going to trade Watson and living in the Houston area I hear daily about some level of some front office brass with the Texans attempting to get ahold of Watson. Watson, at least for now is not budging from his trade demands and that may or may not change. But Kevin’s point that the Texans may hold out until he refuses to report for camp (I doubt him not showing for offseason activities will phase them), then this actually makes more sense for the Dolphins and the Texans on multiple fronts.
A-The Texans do not want to be without Watson and why would they? A team that needs to rebuild but already has a young stud quarterback is already several steps ahead. B-Then there is the salary cap. Yes, every team no matter how over the cap as they enter the offseason always seems to figure out how to move around enough money to stay under that cap each and every year but sometimes it means cutting players that you do not necessarily wish to see go. Other players wind up getting new, reworked contracts that mean at times that you are only causing problems for yourself with some future cap number thus causing more juggling at a later date that you would like to avoid.
The Texans have of course already cut loose of JJ Watt freeing up his cap space but the team is still sitting with only an estimated $5,895,383 in cap space heading into the 2021 off-season. Cut’s are still coming if they wish to sign any free agents and of course, their draft picks, although they have no first or second-rounders as the Dolphins hold both picks so that makes singing this year's class that much cheaper. Being as the Texans are a rebuilding team that needs players trading Watson before the draft would seem a wise move except that he just signed an extension this last season making a pre-June 1st trade a bad idea overall for the team. Trading Watson pre-June first would leave the Texans with $21,600,000 in dead money charged against their cap in 2021 and would increase their cap an additional $5,660,000 over where they already are, eating into nearly all the cap space they presently hold onto.
By waiting to see if Watson shows up to camp before trading him would obviously make him a post-June 1st trade. The financial implications for the Texans' 2021 cap change dramatically at this point as they would only have $5,400,000 in dead cap space associated with Watson while gaining $10,540,000 in cap space for 2021. So that’s the plus for the Texans, but what’s the plus for the Dolphins trading for Watson at this point? Well if you believe that he is or always will be better than Tua Tagovailoa or feel that knowing what you have in Watson is a better bet than guessing what Tua will become the trading after the draft should if the Dolphins play it right work out better for them and their future.
The post versus pre-June first designation will not change the overall price that the Texans are going to ask and expect for Watson. What it does do for the Dolphins if they, as is rumored, plan on making a run at Watson if and when he comes available, is give them time to set themselves up better to both absorb the cost while holding onto valuable draft capital for themselves down the road. Miami holds, as most Phins fans know, the 3rd overall pick, the 18th overall pick in the first round, the 36th overall pick (4th pick in the second round), the 50th overall pick (18th pick in the second round), the 81st overall pick (18th in the third round), 114th overall pick (18th pick in the 4th round), 146th overall pick (18th pick in the 5th round), 178th overall pick (18th pick in the 6th), and the 209th overall pick (18th pick in the 7th).
Miami has already had multiple calls about the third overall pick. If I want Watson down the road, or at least an honest shot at getting him I put that pick up for the highest bid. The closer the draft comes the more desperate some teams will become to move up that high in the draft thus potentially turning that one pick into not only more than one first-rounder but also potentially multiple other high-round picks. Even the 18th overall could be traded for multiple picks this year and in the future as well as their very high second-round pick. I would also be combing through the current roster looking for players that hold solid value to some other club that this front office either does not see as a long-term answer at their respective position, does not fit our particular system in a way that they want, or just flat out hold so much value for another team that it’s worth the trade.
So what’s my point? The point is that we are going to have to give up a boatload of future picks if the Watson deal is made. I for one am okay with the Dolphins going out and acquiring Watson if they do not leave the rest of the cupboard bare for the future. Clearly, while a good to a great quarterback is needed to win in the NFL this team is still shy many pieces that we need to get us where we need to be to challenge not only for the AFC East but to challenge the rest of the AFC for a spot in a future Super Bowl. So of course having enough picks in the future to both trade for a very expensive player but also draft players that you need to develop for your own roster is a must.
So tonight’s Phinsider Question Of The Day is do you favor the Dolphins pursuing Watson if they can manage to make it “affordable” by adding enough draft capital that it makes sense or are you still in the “live or die” mode with Tua knowing that he has not been given any sort of an honest chance to show what he will become at this point?
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