Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier spoke to reporters Wednesday for the first time in six months. There were lots of areas for the Dolphins GM to cover, from the team’s 1-7 start to Miami’s pursuit of Deshaun Watson right up until the NFL trade deadline to the plans for Tua Tagovailoa moving forward.
The Miami Dolphins held out hopes of trading for Watson as late as Monday
The Dolphins, as late as Monday night, still held out some hope of trading for Watson, despite 22 unresolved sexual misconduct lawsuits and an open criminal investigation. Grier is also the first Dolphins representative to speak since Tony Buzbee, the attorney for plaintiffs in the Watson matter, told Fox 26 in Houston that the franchise wanted the nearly two-dozen women to settle, and may have requested they sign “a very, very robust non-disclosure agreement” as part of the deal.
Buzbee added: “Obviously, there was a lot of effort on their part to get the case settled so there could be a trade, apparently. I’m assuming at some point that will come about again.”
Highlights from Chris Grier news conference
As expected, the news conference opened with a question for Grier regarding Watson and why they decided to pursue the Texans QB.
“It’s my job as general manager to always investigate every avenues and players that potentially may or may not be available,” Grier said. “First of all, it’s no different … we’ve done that since day one. There’s no mandate from anyone. It’s just how we operate, and that’s how every team in the NFL operates.
“In terms of what discussions (were) had, what people asked for permission, all that stuff, at the end of the day no trade was made. As an organization, we decided not to make a deal. Basically, at the end of the day, you go through these processes, you talk through things, and no decision was made and we’re moving forward with the team we had.”
Grier continued to expand on the process regarding the potential Watson trade. “At the end of the day, no trade was made. … “Again, we’re doing background work and investigating everything. Just because you do that doesn’t mean you’re going to do a deal. Again, we’re investigating good players and again every situation is unique, and this was a unique situation. We did our due diligence and decided not to pursue a trade.”
Grier refutes Tony Buzbee’s comments
However, Grier strongly refuted the comments from Tony Buzbee regarding the Dolphins potentially wanting an NDA: “Absolutely ridiculous and categorically false. … That pisses me off.” He went on to say that “90%” of the stories that came out during this saga were false.
Grier also commented that a trade for Watson never got close to realistically happening. He also told reporters that had things got to that point, there would have been a conversation with the women in the building to ensure this would be a safe work environment.
Grier indicated that the desire to trade for Watson was more about the quality of Watson than about Tua
The subject of Grier’s press conference then turned to what this says about Tua’s position within the team.
“I don’t think it’s any different than any player on the roster because if there’s a player available around the league that’s viewed as being one of the top players around the league at any position, you look at it and try and go for it. Investigating a player at any position, whether it’s a wide receiver, D-line, O-line, linebacker, if it’s a good player, we’re going to investigate it and look at it and do it.”
We’re very happy with Tua. We think he’s developing well. Brian [Flores] has been very consistent in his message, and we have been as well. He’s working hard. He’s showing a lot of improvement, and we think he’ll continue that development and be the player we think he can be.”
Grier was also asked questions regarding the selection of Tua over Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert. Initially, his response regarding the subject was to focus on Tua, “He’s developing and we’re happy with where [Tua] is at right now.” Grier then went on to say that a report that head coach Brian Flores wanted Herbert over Tua was inaccurate.