The Miami Dolphins stunned the football world when they opted to fire head coach Brian Flores on the first Monday following the conclusion of the 2021 regular season, and they’re causing a stir yet again in the days following that decision. The organization became a major part of the Deshaun Watson headline flurry this season, as Watson refused to ever again suit up for the Houston Texans and allegedly eyed the Dolphins as a team he’d likely waive his no-trade clause for. The trade never materialized, in large part due to Watson’s unresolved legal problems, but quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found himself trapped between a rock and a hard place.
That will no longer be the case for the former fifth-overall pick, though, with owner Stephen Ross seemingly and finally throwing all of his chips in on Tagovailoa — having failed to do so prior to the split from Flores. To that point, Tagovailoa will reportedly remain the starting quarterback of the Dolphins in 2022, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and this would effectively end any thoughts of the Dolphins searching for a replacement in either free agency or, more likely, the 2022 NFL Draft.
As for who was in on Tagovailoa to this point and who wasn’t, well, that’s a matter of hearsay at this point, because Ross himself was caught with his hand in the Watson cookie jar in having talks with the Texans on a potential trade, all while Flores publicly hammered home his faith in Tagovailoa.
But with Flores gone, the new rumor is that it was Flores pushing for Watson while Ross attempted to lead the Tagovailoa train full steam ahead into the future, per Adam Schefter of ESPN — who also notes there’s now little to no chance of Watson being moved to the Dolphins. It also bears mentioning that it was rumored the reason Watson wanted to go to the Dolphins was Flores.
Who you believe is up to you, but what’s true is Flores is now looking for a new home that could very well put him with the Texans and a shot at coaching Watson (long shot, but it’s a shot), while Ross will be made to prove his word is solid by not circling back in March or April and undermining the Dolphins’ latest take on Tagovailoa. The 23-year-old showed strong progress in Year 2 under Flores, and Ross is hoping he’ll take the next step under whomever takes the reins as their next head coach.