What Brian Flores' firing means for any potential Deshaun Watson-to-Dolphins trade

6 months ago 86
deshaun-watson41021-FTR (Getty Images)

Things went fins down in Miami in 2021.

The Dolphins pulled off the first stunner on Black Monday, firing head coach Brian Flores after a 9-8 season.

The decision to fire Flores, though, impacts more than just the players currently on the team. According to reports, Flores hitting the unemployment line could greatly upset Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, who wanted to be in Miami.

The Dolphins made overtures to the Texans about a Watson trade earlier in the season, with the quarterback reportedly labeling the Dolphins as one of the teams he would waive his no-trade clause to join.

MORE: Who could be the next head coach of the Dolphins?

That could change: Flores was a preeminent reason why Watson wanted to be in Miami, per reports, and with Flores now out, it's unclear if Watson would still favor Miami.

#Dolphins coach Brian Flores was a signfiicant reason why Deshaun Watson wanted to be in Miami. WIth Flores out, this situation may have changed.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 10, 2022

The #Dolphins firing Brian Flores likely resets the Deshaun Watson landscape pretty significantly. Flores was very much a driving force behind that interest & the tandem of Flores/Grier was a part of what made Watson willing to waive his no trade to Miami. Everything has changed.

— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) January 10, 2022

Watson, though, has much bigger issues than deciding which jersey he'll be wearing — if any — in 2022. The Houston quarterback is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual harrassment and assault, and has a deposition scheduled for Feb. 22. 

It's unclear what Watson's status with the NFL will be once his legal issues are settled. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Jan. 9 that the Texans would like to trade Watson prior to the start of the new league year on March 16.

MORE: Why did the Dolphins fire Brian Flores? 

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 bandied three first-round picks about for Watson before the 2021 NFL trade deadline, but owner Stephen Ross reportedly nixed the deal.

Ross may yet change his tune: On Monday, he said the decision to pursue Watson will fall on the next head coach:

I asked Ross if he plans to pursue Watson: He said he does not BUT "It will be up to head coach what he does with quarterback. It will depend on next head coach and direction he wants to take."

— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 10, 2022

For now, though, it's Tua Tagovailoa as Dolphins quarterback. It could stay that way once the 2022 season rolls around.

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