Dolphins deny report that owner wants to trade for Watson

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The Miami Dolphins are denying a report that owner Stephen Ross wants the team to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

Though the Dolphins have not explicitly denied having any interest in Watson, the team said Tuesday that Ross "does not force football decisions" and "believes in" quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, according to Jackson.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported earlier Tuesday that Ross "really wants" to acquire the disgruntled Watson. Miami's response came minutes after the initial report.

The Texans aren't expected to deal Watson before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET roster cutdown deadline, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Though a move isn't imminent, the Dolphins are reportedly considered front-runners to acquire Watson.

Miami head coach Brian Flores recently refused to address the Watson trade rumors, saying he remains confident in Tagovailoa. The second-year passer posted a 6-3 record while completing 64% of his passes for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns against five interceptions as a rookie in 2020.

In addition to the Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, and Philadelphia Eagles have also been linked to Watson, who requested a trade from the Texans earlier this year.

Teams continue to monitor Watson's status off the field. The 25-year-old faces 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior, and 10 women have also filed criminal complaints against him.

The Texans are reportedly seeking a trade package that includes three first-round selections and a pair of second-rounders for Watson, but interested teams have reportedly angled for protected picks in case the signal-caller faces a suspension.

However, Houston refuses to give protections as part of the deal, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.

Watson had limited participation during training camp and didn't appear in any preseason games. He was the fourth quarterback on the Texans' depth chart during camp behind veteran Tyrod Taylor, rookie Davis Mills, and Jeff Driskel, whom Houston released on Tuesday.

Watson has become one of the NFL's top signal-callers since being drafted 12th overall in 2017. The three-time Pro Bowler, who signed a four-year extension in September 2020, has averaged 4,308 passing yards and 31 touchdowns against 11 interceptions per 16 games since entering the league.

Dolphins deny report that owner wants to trade for Watson
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