Deshaun Watson’s lawyer details near-trade to Dolphins in November
It’s pretty common knowledge that the Miami Dolphins had strong interest in acquiring former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson before last season’s trade deadline.
While a trade never materialized between the two teams and he was eventually sent to Cleveland, Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, says it was extremely close to happening.
In an interview with Sports Radio 610, Hardin claimed that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was willing to bring in Watson under the right circumstances.
“Miami was an outlier,” Hardin said (transcribed by League of Justice). “Ross says, the owner of Miami says, ‘I’ll take my chances on what happens criminally but I have to have all twenty-two cases settled and a nondisclosure agreement or I won’t do it.’
“The coach at Miami was somebody that Deshaun liked. He liked the team. He was just chomping at the bit to get back to football and get all this garbage behind him and so we were told, ‘I want to go to Miami.’”
Brian Flores, who was Miami’s head coach at the time, was rumored to be interested in Watson, but if Hardin is to be believed, Ross was just as much of a driving force in these discussions.
Hardin says there were agreements in place, but there was a hold-up that caused the trade to be nixed.
“We were told that twenty of them would, but two would not,” Hardin said. “Ross said if I don’t have all twenty-two signed up and a confidentiality agreement [he wouldn’t do it], cause I don’t want everybody talking about this during the season and after the season.”
With this trade off the table, the settlement talks ceased.
“The only reason we were settling at the time was that was the only way he could get to Miami,” Hardin said. “So if Miami wasn’t going to take him and do the trade unless there’s all twenty-two and all twenty-two didn’t want to settle, then we didn’t want to settle with anybody because we didn’t want to be there to begin with.”
Since Flores’ firing, the organization has put forth a ton of support behind Tua Tagovailoa as their quarterback, almost as if to make it appear as though trading for Watson was the coach’s idea, and he was the only one who was on board.
At least now Tagovailoa is receiving that support from new head coach Mike McDaniel, and it seems genuine. However, if the quarterback doesn’t show some real growth this season, Ross could be pushing for a change at quarterback.