A potential trade partner has emerged for the Texans amid reports of Deshaun Watson’s unhappiness with the organization.
According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen — citing “informed speculation” from an unnamed source — Watson may consider being traded to the Dolphins in a deal that sends quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and additional compensation to Houston. Mortensen, who noted that Watson’s recent $156 contract has a no-trade clause, also added he is unhappy with the team’s “insensitivity to social justice,” particularly as it relates to its hiring practices.
Watson, who reportedly found out on social media that the Texans had hired general manager Nick Caserio, wanted them to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy — who is Black — for the team’s vacant head coach position. Houston reportedly did not consider Bieniemy for the role.
Sources say Watson could play hardball with Texans about a trade. His new $156 million contract includes a no-trade clause but informed speculation from a source is that he would consider the @MiamiDolphins in which Tua Tagovailoa and additional compensation goes to Houston.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 10, 2021
This follows a Friday report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that Watson could request a trade after news broke of the Caserio hire. Florio was quickly refuted by NFL beat writer John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. That said, multiple reports suggest Watson is angry at the team for the way it handled its offseason hires, which reportedly includes ignoring a search firm to hire Caserio.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Also worth noting: One source said this week that, after Houston traded Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last off-season, Deshaun Watson’s anger level was “a 2….This time, it’s a 10.” https://t.co/CsqZYbe3OK
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2021
Regarding a potential trade: Miami would need to send considerable assets to Houston in return for the Pro Bowl signal-caller and his massive contract — well worth it considering his fantastic 2020 campaign. That likely would include the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — which the Dolphins secured in a trade with the Texans for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills — as well as Miami’s own No. 18 pick.
Miami would need to make considerable additions to its offensive line and receiving corps to support Watson, though he would provide an immediate upgrade at quarterback. Houston, should it claim Miami’s first-round picks, could also begin rebuilding the team around Tagovailoa with targets at receiver and along the O-line.