There’s a potential hurdle in the Deshaun Watson-to-Miami trade rumors, and his name is Tua Tagovailoa.
According to a report by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans don’t consider Tagovailoa, coming off his rookie season, “an adequate replacement” to their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback:
“Miami has a quarterback with upside in Tua Tagovailoa, but that could be a deal-breaker for the Texans,” Wilson reported. “Tagovailoa isn’t regarded as a quarterback the Texans will view as an adequate replacement for Watson, according to multiple league sources.”
If the Texans want what they consider “an adequate replacement” for Watson, they’d likely be better off approaching one of the four remaining playoff teams or abandoning that notion altogether to focus on the draft. On top of Tagovailoa, most trade breakdowns also have Miami shipping Houston both its third and 18th overall picks — not to mention future picks — in return for Watson.
Tagovailoa didn’t have quite the rookie season as some of his peers — he completed 186 of 290 passes (64.1 percent) for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns to five interceptions — but the Dolphins also had what was considered one of the weaker receiving corps and offensive lines in the league. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey also resigned after the season.
Watson, according to a Jan. 10 report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, was open to considering a trade to the Dolphins despite the no-trade clause in his $156 million contract. Other teams have since joined the Watson sweepstakes, including fellow AFC East contestants New England and New York.
Still, it seems more a matter of “when” than “if” Houston trades Watson. According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Texans feel as if he “has played his last snap” for the team, considering his anger over the team’s hiring practices for its new GM and open head coach position. Whether the Dolphins — or another suitor — can put together an enticing enough offer to secure Watson remains to be seen.