Tua Tagovailoa has made just 13 starts since the Dolphins selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but already, trade rumors are swirling about Miami searching for a quarterback upgrade.
Specifically, Miami has been connected to Deshaun Watson. Tagovailoa isn’t letting those rumors get to him.
“I hear it. I do hear it. I just don’t listen to it,” Tagovailoa told reporters, per The Palm Beach Post.
“I really respect and appreciate [coach Brian Flores’] transparency with where he’s at with that,” Tagovailoa added later when discussing the rumors, per the Miami Herald. “… He sits me down and he tells me what’s going on. He has conversations with [general manager Chris] Grier and he kind of keeps me in the loop with all of those things. I hear [the Watson reports] but I’m not really focused on that.”
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It would be hard to blame Tagovailoa for listening to the rumors. The buzz surrounding a Watson trade is growing louder by the day, and it seems possible that the embattled Texans starting quarterback could be dealt ahead of the 2021 NFL trade deadline.
Miami has repeatedly been mentioned as a trade destination and so far, the Dolphins are the only team that Watson has indicated he would waive his no-trade clause to join.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores addressed these rumors indirectly after the game. He told reporters that he had a discussion with Tagovailoa about “all that was going on,” but continued to commit to Tagovailoa as the Dolphins’ starter.
“[We had] the same conversation we’ve been having for a little while, which is he is our quarterback,” Flores said. “His focus needs to be on our team, what we’re doing. In this case it was Atlanta … and understanding that there’s some outside noise, some outside distractions, but just do everything he can to focus.”
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Tagovailoa certainly seemed focused during the Dolphins’ 30-28 loss to the Falcons. He completed 32 of 40 passes for 291 yards and four touchdowns, one of which gave the Dolphins a late 28-27 lead. However, he did throw two interceptions that led to 10 Atlanta points.
Still, Flores came away from the defeat — Miami’s sixth consecutively — feeling good about Tagovailoa.
“I thought bringing us back in the fourth quarter, putting two drives together to give us the lead, that’s what you’re looking for in a quarterback,” Flores said. “From that standpoint, he put us in position to win the game, which at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for from the quarterback. Obviously, some plays he wishes he had back, but overall, I thought he did a lot of good things.”
That doesn’t sounds like a coach who is ready to give up on his quarterback. We’ll see if Flores changes his tune before the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 2.
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