Things got worse in Miami in 2021.
The Dolphins pulled off the first upset on Black Monday, firing head coach Brian Flores after a 9-8 season.
However, the decision to fire Flores impacts more than just the players currently on the team. Flores hitting the unemployment line could reportedly upset Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, who wanted to be in Miami.
The Dolphins made proposals to the Texans about a Watson trade earlier in the season, and the quarterback reportedly tagged the Dolphins as one of the teams he’d waive his no-trade clause to join.
That could change: Flores was one of the main reasons Watson wanted to be in Miami, according to reports, and with Flores now gone, it’s unclear whether Watson would continue to favor Miami.
#Dolphins Coach Brian Flores was a big reason Deshaun Watson wanted to be in Miami. Without Flores, this situation may have changed.
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 10, 2022
The #Dolphins firing Brian Flores is likely to reset Deshaun Watson’s landscape quite significantly. Flores was largely a driving force behind that interest and the Flores / Grier tandem was part of what made Watson willing to give up his no-trade to Miami. Everything has changed.
—Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) January 10, 2022
However, Watson has much bigger problems than deciding which shirt, if any, to wear in 2022. The Houston quarterback is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits charging him with sexual harassment and assault, and has a statement scheduled to release. February 22. .
It’s unclear what Watson’s status with the NFL will be once his legal issues are resolved. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on January 9 that the Texans would like to trade Watson before the start of the new league year on March 16.
Watson’s situation is rare: On the field, the 26-year-old is a top-10 quarterback entering the prime of his career with a reasonable contract. The Dolphins pitched three first-round picks for Watson before the 2021 NFL trade deadline, but owner Stephen Ross reportedly turned down the deal.
Ross may still change his tone: On Monday, he said the decision to go after Watson will rest with the next head coach:
I asked Ross if he plans to go after Watson – he said no, BUT “It will be up to the head coach what he does with the quarterback. It will depend on the next head coach and what direction he wants to take.”
– Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 10, 2022
For now, though, it’s Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback for the Dolphins. It could stay that way once the 2022 season rolls around.