INDIANAPOLIS — The Miami Dolphins’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson is officially over. And the team is all-in on Tua Tagovailoa. At the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier definitively told reporters that the Dolphins will not trade for Watson.
Miami Dolphins out of Deshaun Watson sweepstakes
The Dolphins’ interest in Watson — the Texans quarterback who has nearly two-dozen active sexual misconduct lawsuits as well as an open criminal investigation — basically ended with Brian Flores’ tenure as Dolphins coach.
“The door [is] shut on Deshaun,” Grier told Miami-based reporters Wednesday. “At the end of the day, Mike [McDaniel] and the staff have come to do a lot of work and studied a lot of Tua, and they feel good about his developmental upside, what he can be, and then the fit in the offense. I think we’re good with Tua.”
That’s a significant reversal from just four months ago when the organization had extensive talks with the Texans about trading for Watson. Those talks fell apart at the trade deadline because of Watson’s unresolved legal situation.
At the time, the idea was that Miami’s interest would perk up again during the 2022 offseason. But then the Dolphins fired Flores and hired Mike McDaniel, who is determined to develop and win with Tagovailoa (at least in 2022).
Grier: Tua can be a franchise quarterback
When asked why the Dolphins suddenly have conviction in a player they tried to replace for the better part of a year, Grier responded:
“I will say Mike and the offensive staff watched every game, every throw, and put together this tape of the roster, and it was pretty cool. Mike’s vision for how Tua fits into this scheme and what he can do, they’re all very excited about it. So, I think at the end of the day, probably Tua’s going to have to come in and work with him and do it on the field. But right now, there’s a very good comfort level with how they feel he fits into what Mike wants to do with our offense. And again, to the run game, the run game part of it.”
Can Tua become an elite quarterback?
“I can’t say he can’t be,” Grier said. “It’s in a situation now where this will be built around his skill set and what the offense can be and Mike’s vision of how he fits. So, I wouldn’t say he can’t be. It’s too early. He’s played 20 games maybe. The first year was in and out and missing games this year, but I know he’s won games even this last year, and it’s hard to win games in this league. I know people want to say he doesn’t throw the ball downfield, but he’s incredibly accurate, and that’s the real exciting part for Mike and the coaching staff, his accuracy.”
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