The Miami Dolphins have had a roller coaster of a 2021 season.
Any way you slice it, whether you’re a fan of the team or a more neutral observer, their 1-7 record through eight games is disappointing.
Heading into the final game of the season in 2020, the Dolphins controlled their own destiny, and would qualify for the postseason with a victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Since that fateful day in Western New York, where quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looked overwhelmed by the moment, Miami has lost eight of their last nine regular season contests.
Whenever a team underachieves to this extent, there aren’t many players on the roster who are guaranteed to remain with the franchise long-term.
Even though the trade deadline has passed, the Dolphins will be a team often mentioned with regards to a major shakeup.
Deshaun Watson Rumors
Despite the amount of times head coach Brian Flores has demonstratively proclaimed his support for Tagovailoa, there’s too much smoke around Miami and their desire to acquire Deshaun Watson for there not to be fire.
Reports indicated that it was Dolphins owner Stephen Ross who was leading the charge to acquire the superstar quarterback, and that desire likely only grew as Miami’s season started to go off the rails.
It has been difficult to objectively evaluate Tagovailoa’s performance with the specter of Watson trade looming since the preseason.
At the end of the day, quarterbacks are judged by wins and losses, and the former Alabama signal-caller’s career record has taken a nosedive in 2021.
He has had some bright moments, such as positive performances against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons.
But he has also missed three games with a rib injury, and has thrown interceptions at some inopportune times.
Even if Tagovailoa lights it up during the second half of the season, Miami’s record will likely be unsightly.
In a results-driven business, it might not be enough to buy him another year under center in South Florida.
Watson’s legal situation might also clear up after the season, which would provide another window of opportunity for Miami to acquire him.
It was reported that the lack of clarity regarding Watson’s legal situation was the main (if not only) hurdle that kept Miami from pulling the trigger on a deal.
#Texans QB Deshaun Watson not settling his legal situation has resulted in him not getting traded, source said. Watson will stay put in Houston until the offseason.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 2, 2021
Xavien Howard and DeVante Parker Rumors
The prospect of a Watson trade will continue to hang over Miami for the foreseeable future, but there were a couple of other veterans who were rumored to be on the block as well.
Cornerback Xavien Howard and wide receiver DeVante Parker also reportedly could have been on the move, and there’s reason to think that something could still take place with either of them after the season.
Howard was at the center of a dramatic preseason situation, where he posted on Instagram that he would not play another down for the franchise.
Tensions eventually were assuaged by a raise that the Dolphins gave the talented cornerback, but it’s fair to wonder whether this is a marriage destined for the long-term.
Only two years after resetting the cornerback market, Howard seemed intent on playing hardball, and Miami might wonder whether this will be a regular occurrence with him.
Meanwhile, Parker’s tenure with the Dolphins since being selected as a first-round pick by the team in 2015 has been uneven, to say the least.
He has battled injury issues, and has never become the unquestioned number one option in the passing game in what is now his seventh season.
While Parker is talented, he just hasn’t been able to put it together.
NEXT: Dolphins Could Trade Former First-Round WR At Deadline
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 31, 2021