NFL Trade Rumors: Two theories regarding Brian Flores’ latest praise of Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

Dolphins HC Brian Flores said again that Tua Tagovailoa is the team's QB but didn't dispute NFL trade rumors surrounding Deshaun Watson.

Brian Flores’ full-throated support of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Friday could mean a bunch of things, but these two theories are the most obvious with NFL trade rumors abound:

1) That the Dolphins are not trading for Deshaun Watson and are encouraged by how Tagovailoa played in his first game back from broken ribs.

OR

2) The Dolphins are shopping Tua in the event they acquire Watson and want to maximize his trade value.

Brian Flores: ‘Tua Tagovailoa is our QB’

Reporters on Friday asked Flores directly about a Houston Chronicle report that the Dolphins could trade for Watson by the end of the week. The two sides have had significant talks, PFN has learned. However, our sense is Houston still has not budged off its asking price — said to be at least three first-rounders — enough for Miami’s liking.

“I don’t really get into rumors,” Flores responded. “Tua’s our quarterback. We’re happy with our quarterback situation, and I’ll leave it at that. … I really don’t see it as a distraction. Our players are blocking out all the stuff that’s going on outside the building. Our focus is on Atlanta.”

Later, Flores evaluated Tua’s career trajectory midway through Year 2.

“He’s developing,” he replied. “I think this kid is smart, I think he’s tough, I think he’s talented, I think he’s accurate. I think he definitely has an opportunity to be a very good player. But there’s a lot that goes into that. A lot of work from him, a lot of work from us. It doesn’t just happen overnight. He knows that, we know that. There’s always bumps in the road.”

Tua performed well against the Jaguars in Week 6

Flores also praised Tua’s preparation and his performances in practice and in games. Tagovailoa completed 33 of 47 passes for 329 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first game back after missing the previous three with the rib injury.

“I thought he played very well last week,” Flores said. “He was out for a couple of games, and he came and played, I thought, very well last week. I think his psyche is in the right place. He’s a confident kid, a tough kid. Really, he’s played in two games this year. He should have a lot of confidence in the way he’s played. We have a lot of confidence in him because of the way he’s played.”

Did Charlie Frye call plays for Miami Dolphins?

These are all things you want to hear from your coach if you’re a player. These are also things you want to hear if you’re a team that’s considering trading for a player.

What’s the reality? Time will tell.

One more Flores note — he was asked about a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel regarding the team’s mysterious offensive play-calling system. The report stated that Charlie Frye, and not co-offensive coordinators George Godsey and Eric Studesville, was actually the one deciding which plays to run in the first four weeks.

However, Flores has long said it’s been a collaborative effort, with Frye radioing the call into Tua but not necessarily choosing it. But, Godsey is now relaying the call to the quarterback.

“I understand the question,” Flores said. “Our focus is on Atlanta. We’ve talked at length about the situation. It’s always been a collaborative effort. It was that early in the year. It is now. Process has changed to what it is now. We’ll kind of leave it at that. Move forward. Our focus is on Atlanta, today’s practice. Really looking forward. It’s always been a collaborative effort. It always will be a collaborative effort.”

Adam Beasley is the National NFL Analyst and Insider for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Adam’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @AdamHBeasley.

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