The Miami Dolphins were about to head into the season focused on the current players on their team, with the idea of making the playoffs in the AFC.
Over the weekend, however, it was reported that the Dolphins were the leaders in the clubhouse to acquire three-time Pro-Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
While Miami has long since been proposed as a logical destination for the talented quarterback, it seemed a little bizarre that this storyline would resurface with such momentum during the final week of the preseason.
Now, it leaves Dolphins wondering just how much confidence general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores truly have in their team.
Flores shot down narratives that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is enamored with Watson, and supported the notion that the franchise is just fine playing out the year with Tua Tagovailoa under center.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 27, 2021
Dolphins Fans Should Be Conflicted And Confused
It’s not hyperbolic to say Miami has been looking for a true franchise quarterback since the retirement of Dan Marino after the 1999 season.
There have been glimmers of hope in the last two decades with rumors of stars wanting to suit up for the Dolphins under center, including but not limited to Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but nothing ever materialized.
They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but Dolphins fans have been teased by the possibility of fowls who were not on the roster for a long time.
Watson’s acquisition would certainly give Miami a level of credibility not achieved since in the mid 1990s with Marino, and his ability to catapult the level of play of everyone around him would be fun to watch.
There’s no doubting his talent, and Watson’s presence on almost any roster sets the playoffs as a reasonable baseline expectation.
Despite the frustration associated with the above recurring pattern, there’s another way to look at this situation.
This is the third year that Dolphins fans have invested in the promise that Tagovailoa could be the solution to a longstanding problem at the position.
It wasn’t just his rookie season last year and the upcoming season; it was also the 2019 campaign that was defined by the team’s perceived direction to tank for the former Alabama star.
That’s a lot of emotional investment attached to an individual who seemed to be a can’t-miss prospect before injuries derailed his Crimson Tide career.
Hanging over this topic like a dark cloud are Watson’s alleged legal troubles, which make it uncertain as to when or if the league will take action to prohibit him from suiting up.
For now, it seems like the Texans and their star quarterback are agreeing to keep him on the active roster as a likely weekly scratch.
It would take an enormous leap of faith for Miami to part with a sizable package with a potential suspension looming at any turn, and at this juncture it seems like a no-win predicament.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 26, 2021
Miami will just have to go into the season hoping that Tagovailoa can take a giant step forward in order to put this story to bed.