Let us assume the Miami Dolphins win the expected bidding war required to land Deshaun Watson for what equates to four first-round picks.
While I anticipate half the NFL will be bidding on Watson when the Houston Texans finally decide it would be wise to move him, let us envision Dolphins owner Steve Ross encourages his decision makers to bid big, taking an all-in approach to acquire Watson this offseason.
Whether the hypothetical deal involves second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa - who would be worth the equivalent of a first-round pick - isn’t significant.
If Houston wants Tagovailoa to be the cornerstone of their rebuild, great.
If they don’t, then Miami can sell Tagovailoa to the highest bidder (maybe the New England Patriots), and will likely get back a deal better than what Miami gave up to acquire Josh Rosen in 2019, sending the Arizona Cardinals a second and fourth-round pick for the disappointing quarterback.
Keep in mind Miami’s interest in Watson isn’t about Tagovailoa, and never was. It’s about acquiring an elite quarterback in his prime, ending the search this franchise has been on since Dan Marino retired in 1999.
I am of the opinion – and it’s a firm one - that the Watson paired with this Dolphins defense – assuming Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard isn’t part of the package sent to Houston, and he very well might be – could turn Miami into a perennial playoff team for the next two to three seasons.
Especially if the Dolphins upgrade the tailback position, which will likely happen considering there are only three tailbacks presently on the roster, and the team typically carries five.
So let us hypothetically say Miami sends Houston pick No. 3, No. 18, Tagovailoa and Miami’s 2022 first-round pick and gets back Watson, who is one of the NFL’s top 20 players (I’m being conservative), a quarterback coming off a career year who is under contract, and in his prime (25 years old).