The desperate pursuit of the Super Bowl leaves no stone unturned, and while we welcome Boy Scouts, there’s always room at Roger Goodell Inn for potential villains or bad guys.
The story never changes: if you’re so talented that you can help a billionaire feed the golden goose, the league will eventually find a way to scrape the record away with what they declare is fair enough on any Sunday or day of the week.
If Deshaun Watson is granted his wish and trades out of his legal stalemate to the Dolphins between now and Tuesday night’s trading deadline, he’ll be eligible to play…at least until the NFL decides a date for him to be eligible for the commissioner’s membership exclusions list.
Character is important in the NFL, until and unless it happens. If Dolphins owner Stephen Ross willingly handed three first-round draft picks to Texas Watson, he would have come to the conclusion that the devil he knows, Tua Tagovailoa, can’t hold a candle to the devil he doesn’t know.
Meanwhile, until investigations into accusations of sexual misconduct by Houston police of Watson are completed and made public, a small army of massage therapists will cling to their conviction that he is the devil no one knew.
Palace intrigue at its best.
If Ross has a panic attack and decides to pull the trigger without waiting for Watson’s 22 civil lawsuits to be resolved, that means he’s not afraid to fall off the tightrope between “innocent until proven guilty” and “where there’s smoke there’s fire, knowing full well that the NFL will be on Stand by at the time of your choosing to protect the shield with our public conduct policy and possible six-match suspension.
Ross should do himself a favor and pass.
“With more talent comes greater tolerance, we know it’s been like this forever, and it will be like this forever,” ESPN analyst Louis Redick told Serby Says. “The question is… Who do you want to be as an organization? What do you want to stand for? Are you standing up for anything, or are you about to do whatever it takes, and damage character and personal behavior, in order to win? Is this where you are? And if If you are, you will be gambling with players who now have unresolved legal situations.
“I know there are people who say, ‘Well, he hasn’t been charged with anything, the commissioner hasn’t put him on the exemption list and the commissioner doesn’t even have all the information. “Yeah you’re right. So in that case, you know what? If I’m going, ‘I don’t do anything.’ I simply don’t do anything because I don’t know. I don’t know if the risk is worth the reward here, and frankly, I’ll leave that to the property.” Oh man, because that’s just something I’d be uncomfortable doing at this point, and it doesn’t mean that before everyone these things, I’m not saying Deshaun’s guilty, I’m saying I don’t know.
“And if you don’t know, how can you take the risk? How can you? Because if something appears that some or all or any of these things are true, where do you draw the line as far as to accept and not accept the player’s behavior in order to include him in your team? Where is your line or You don’t have one. That sounds so easy to me, but it’s clearly not for a lot of people. For a lot of people, it’s like, ‘Hell with all that.’ He is a great player. … It’s better than Tua, hell with Tua, Tua’s ship is on the way, Tua is not permanent, Tua can’t throw the deep ball. It’s bigger than that, but for a lot of people in professional sports, it doesn’t matter who the players are, it’s what they can do for you. …I don’t know if there’s anything that takes people off the table anymore, I don’t really know, and that’s strange to me.”
Few would argue that from a footballing standpoint, inviting Watson to take his talents to South Beach is a no-brainer, despite all the speculation and talk about it while his off-field behavior has been called into such a serious question. trivial.
But the NFL is a national pastime where the news cycle never stops, and some owners would undoubtedly consider trading for Hannibal Lecter if he could spin it and run an RPO.
“They want to trade with him because they want to have one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL,” Phil Sims told Serby Says. “He’s a franchise-changer. He’s played on a bad football team. Usually quarterbacks can’t excel on bad football teams – he did that last year. I actually spoke to a few coaches who had to play with him, and they said, ‘Wonderful. We were.’ We’re lucky to win the match because we couldn’t stop him. That’s why the Dolphins want him.”
It’s unfortunate that Tagovailoa is collateral damage in any trade, after Dolphins used the 5th overall pick in the 2020 draft on him. Watson, of course, is your best bet to win the Super Bowl.
Sims said of Watson: “On the field, there is no weakness. There is none. The size of the NFL is fantastic … tremendous athletic ability … really Good thrower. I am so amazed at how well he throws the ball as a professional. When he came out, I loved him, but I just said, “Oh my God, I’m not sure he’s going to be an NFL pitcher,” and that’s definitely not the truth. He’s a Major League Soccer pitcher as well.
“Talent is overwhelming, and as we know, talent gives you leeway in other situations, so if he wasn’t very talented, no one would even think of trying to trade for him and anything else. And though we don’t know the outcome of the legal situation he’s in.”
Clemson coach Dabo likened Sweeney Watson to Michael Jordan, and only Texans believed him. There were no red flags either.
“I’m not taking anything away from Deshaun, the player at least,” said Riddick, “but I don’t know how you can pull the trigger given what it would cost you as the winning team without knowing everything as far as what state it would go through. I just couldn’t do that “.
When late Gates owner Leon Hess fired Pete Carroll after the 1994 season to hire Rich Cotette, he said, “I’m 80. I want results now.” Ross is 81, and he wants results now too – different from the 1-6 results he got this season from coach Brian Flores and Tagovailoa.
Any such huge trade would have huge repercussions. The empowered Watson wants input on hiring the next head coach, as Flores is starting to look like Dead Coach Walking.
Beyond that, women’s groups are sure to protest. Jon Mara and Steve Tish were very fortunate to have Ellie Manning as the face of the franchise giants series. What should we think of Deshaun Watson as the face of the franchise? Is there any guarantee that he can exorcise the evil spirits that his accusers claim live inside him?
For all his elite instruments, trading for Watson is a risk that is not worth the risk at this time.
Super Bowl VIII was the Dolphins’ last tournament. They were searching for Next Dan Marino as persistently as the Jets searched for Next Joe Namath. Ross first thought Chad Heaney was the answer to his prayers. Then Ryan Tanehill. Then Tagovailoa. Now, whether it’s in the near future, or sometime next year, the biggest — and perhaps the worst — fish in the pond.