The Deshaun Watson trade sweepstakes have officially entered the NFL offseason.
Watson’s ongoing feud with the Texans remains the biggest storyline in the NFL, especially as teams try to parse where the quarterback wants to be traded. Houston remains adamant that it won’t trade him, so it’s uncertain where Watson will ultimately end up. But one popular trade destination is Miami, which has the players and draft capital to make a serious run for his services.
A photo released Friday by Watson’s marketing agent, Bryan Burney, will only add fuel to those rumors. Watson is pictured with Dolphins defensive linemen Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins, the latter of whom played with the quarterback at Clemson. All of them are represented by the same agency, Athletes First.
The photo reportedly took place in Miami, and was taken on Thursday night.
Any trade that sends Watson to Miami will inevitably include second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, also represented by Athletes First. Dolphins coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier have both maintained that Tagovailoa will be the Dolphins’ quarterback next season. But the prospect of securing Watson, who had his best season in 2020 and is in the prime of his career, might be enough to make them change their minds.
Along with Tagovailoa, Miami would also have to part with considerable draft capital — including, potentially, both its third and 18th overall picks of the 2021 NFL Draft. The former pick previously belonged to Houston, which traded it to Miami as part of a deal that sent offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills to the Texans.
Speculation over Watson’s impending trade likely won’t end until it actually takes place. In that sense, Friday’s photo could have been a hint as to his preferred team, or it could be nothing more than dinner with friends.
Such is life in the Deshaun Watson trade sweepstakes.