The inevitable conclusion to perhaps the most repeated NFL trade rumor of 2021 came Tuesday, right before the league’s deadline for such transactions set for 4 p.m. ET.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter (h/t Sarah Barshop) reports the Miami Dolphins aren’t trading for Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who isn’t playing for his current employer following his offseason trade request and who is still facing 22 lawsuits alleging acts of sexual assault and misconduct and 10 criminal complaints.
Barshop adds that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made the final call after “contingencies” for such a trade presumably weren’t met.
Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (h/t Chase Goodbread) says Watson will remain on Houston’s roster through the trade deadline and into the offseason. Following Tuesday, Watson can’t be traded until the new NFL year opens on March 16, 2022, at the earliest.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has repeatedly said Tua Tagovailoa is his starting signal-caller despite handfuls of stories linking Miami with Watson. It was widely assumed no franchise could go all-in on Watson without having a guarantee he won’t be suspended or placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. Watson’s legal issues continuing through the second day of November removed any such guarantee from discussions and ultimately will keep him with the Texans for the foreseeable future.