The NFL Trade deadline is coming, now less than a week away. Moves will be made by our organization, but the magnitude of the moves has yet to be determined. This team has underperformed and once again disappointed a fan base that thought, believed and expected better things. In the 3rd year of Grier and Flores, armed with a multitude of first and second round picks in consecutive drafts, we thought we finally were going to get a talent laden roster of young players to build to build around. No more foolish spending in free agency trying to put band aids on wounds that needed cauterizing. We were going to build a young nucleus, with a young QB (Tua Tagovailoa), and then sprinkle in the right veteran players in free agency with no desperation, and no need to get the hottest and most expensive players, just the right veteran players to put us over the top. Instead of building on the 10-6 record we achieved last season, this team has fallen backwards at 1-6 after 7 games and and basically at a point where the season is lost. So now we get to see how this trio of Ross, Grier and Flores handle their failure and try to remedy things. The Deshaun Watson trade rumors have been present since before the season. Is Watson a better QB than Tua is now? Sure, but Tua is a rookie with a 7-6 record, completing over 65% of his passes and a 2:1 TD/INT ratio with 18 TD’s and 9 INT’s. To me, pulling the plug on that is preposterous. On the other hand, the track record for Grier and possibly Flores surrendering a 2nd and 5th RD pick for Josh Rosen in 2019 makes you wonder if they are capable stewards of making such important decisions. They did evaluate the QB class of 2020 and they chose Tua Tagovailoa at #5. Do they pull the plug on a player that has worked so hard and to rehab injuries they were fully aware of when drafting him, especially since he has played well enough to have a winning record and at least average to above statistics? The bigger question is, for what player to make you the trade for? A QB embroiled in controversy and 22 civil lawsuits filed against him by 22 women. This is what makes you abandon the player you were all in on just one year ago? You have to wonder if either of the 2 under Ross really deserve to be here themselves.
I believe the Dolphins aren’t going to make that move. Yes, Watson has been convicted of nothing, there are simply allegations at the moment. He is not guilty until proven otherwise, but many times where there’s smoke there’s fire, and 22 lawsuits is a smoldering inferno. Is that the desperate approach you want to take as an organization? You will probably get elevated play at QB with Watson as compared to Tua but would it be enough of a difference to make this team a winner? We’re 31st on defense statistically. Is Deshaun Watson going to be a 2 way player? Our offensive line has been poor the entire season. It won’t be any better for Watson. As expected, our best WR’s can’t stay on the field or even when they’re on the field, they’re not healthy. We have had DeVante Parker on this team for 6 seasons before this year and he played a 16 game season once. In 2019 he finally had the year we all thought he could have and became the player we hoped he could be, but that was the flash in the pan. He can’t stay healthy, and when you have a #1 receiver that’s rarely healthy, how do you bring in Will Fuller who also has never played a 16 game season. The we have Albert Wilson who opted out of the season last year due to COVID-19. He hadn’t played since 2019 in which he had a terrible hip injury that cut off his nice season in which Wilson was the one exciting piece of the offense. Preston Williams has also been injury prone and only managing to play a maximum of 8 games in 3 different seasons. Is all this Tua’s fault? Is it Tua’s fault that the defense that that was 6th in points allowed is now 31st?
We sent a few veterans packing this season, one after trading for him in the very same offseason. We traded for LB Benardrick McKinney and then cut him in one of the last cutdowns. We traded OG Ereck Flowers to the WFT for a swap of 7th RD picks. I was fine with trading Flowers because I figured that meant that we had our starting LG in Solomon Kindley, or maybe rookie OL Liam Eichenberg. In the short term, sending Flowers hasn’t worked for the better. I still feel like I’d rather have these guys learn than sit behind a vet like Flowers, but with that comes growing pains, and the QB (Tua) along with the offense itself have felt that pain. I was all for giving AVG more playing time and jettisoning KVN allowed that to happen. Getting rid of McKinney while a surprise allowed LB Elandon Roberts to play, and I feel he deserved that as well.
So what happens going forward with this team? Do they finally make the trade for Deshaun Watson? I certainly hope it doesn’t happen, because even if the team is better, marginally or significantly, I won’t feel good about it. It’s just not the ideal situation in my mind at all. “Hey, we have a QB in a hot mess of legal trouble due to his very questionable character, so will give him to you at 50 cents on the dollar”. Yeah, I’ll take a pass on that. Besides the fact that I like Tua, all he’s done since he’s got here is bust his ass to be the best he can be, and he has played well enough in my mind to give him more time to see what he can be. There’s also a huge risk factor that will only mitigated by less compensation initially, there will be no protection for us once the deal is done. Is Tua part of the deal? I would imagine so, but that much is not clear as of yet. Besides the potential trade, I want to see growth for all our young players. I want our O-line looking much better by the end of the season and I want our young LB’s playing at a high level and showing legitimate pass rush chops. I want Tua to show that not only does he belong and deserve to be our QB, but that he’s a damn good one that has earned our respect. It’s not ideal being 1-6, but there are still things that can happen that can make this season a good one. Let’s hope these things happen, all of them.