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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Dolphins

Xavien Howard and Dolphins extra motivated to face Bills in Week 2

Xavien Howard

Expectations are higher for the Miami Dolphins in 2021, and the team’s upcoming game against the Buffalo Bills appears to be a statement game for the team.

The Dolphins lost to the Bills 56-26 in the regular season finale in 2020. That loss has remained on the mind of several Miami players. That includes cornerback Xavien Howard, who admitted he has had Sunday’s matchup against Buffalo circles on the calendar.

Sometimes revenge narratives can distract a team too much, so the Dolphins have to be careful here. That said, they’re coming in 1-0 off a win at New England, so confidence should be high. They haven’t shied away from expecting big things in 2021, either.

The Bills are coming in off a loss to Pittsburgh, and an 0-2 start would raise major red flags. Expect them to come out motivated here too.

Dolphin players do not elect Tua Tagovailoa as one of team’s captains

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins revealed their five team captains for the 2021 season on Wednesday, and there was one notable omission — their starting quarterback did not make the cut.

Linebacker Elandon Roberts, offensive tackle Jesse Davis, safety Clayton Fejedelem, wide receiver Mack Hollins and cornerback Jason McCourty were all named Miami’s team captains. Tua Tagovailoa was not given the honor by his teammates.

There are really two ways to look at that. One is that Tagovailoa has not played much in the NFL, so perhaps his teammates want him to prove himself before he is given the captain’s badge. Or, it could be that Tagovailoa did not show enough leadership this offseason to inspire Dolphins players. The latter scenario would obviously be much more of a concern.

Tagovailoa played in 10 games last season. We wouldn’t call him an experienced veteran, but he’s not a rookie, either. For what it’s worth, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson were named captains by the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, respectively.

Between Tagovailoa not being named a captain and all the reports that the Dolphins are looking to trade for a star quarterback, you can understand why fans might not feel that confident in Tua. The former Alabama star has a lot to prove this season.

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Dolphins hit back at report that team owner wants Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

Reports have been swirling that the Miami Dolphins are intent on acquiring Deshaun Watson at some point in the near future, and the team is finally trying to throw cold water on the narrative.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports has insisted for the past several days that the Dolphins have been active in trade discussions with the Houston Texans. Then on Tuesday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cited a source who claims Dolphins owner Stephen Ross “really wants” Watson. Florio added that Ross wanted to trade up for Joe Burrow last year before Miami “settled” for Tua Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins have finally heard enough. Not long after the Florio report surfaced, the team delivered a message to several members of the Miami media that Ross does not involve himself in football decisions. The Dolphins also insist Ross believes in Tagovailoa.

Of course, that is exactly what you would expect the team to say. Even if the Dolphins are trying to acquire Watson, they may be unsuccessful. In the event that they don’t land the Pro Bowler, the last thing they want is Tagovailoa thinking they don’t believe in him.

The Texans still want at least three first-round picks for Watson even amid his sexual assault scandal. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores briefly addressed the Watson rumors on Sunday, though he stopped well short of denying the team is interested.

Brian Flores responds to rumors linking Dolphins to Deshaun Watson

Brian Flores

Reports emerged Saturday suggesting that the Miami Dolphins are eyeing a trade for Deshaun Watson, but coach Brian Flores is not taking the bait right now.

Flores didn’t confirm or deny whether the Dolphins had interest in Watson after Sunday’s preseason game. He did, however, give a vote of confidence to second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Flores’ response isn’t a denial, which will do nothing to slow down speculation. The vote of confidence in Tagovailoa won’t do it either, as the young quarterback’s future would be thrown into question if the Dolphins were to bring in Watson.

There’s no indication that the Dolphins are close to trading for the Texans quarterback, but there’s a lot of smoke here right now. It remains to be seen if there will be any movement in the next week.

Report: Texans have no interest in Tua Tagovailoa

Taulia Tagovailoa

The Houston Texans have been engaging in trade talks centered on Deshaun Watson, and it sounds like the Miami Dolphins remain interested in the star quarterback. That has naturally led to questions about Tua Tagovailoa’s future, but he may not even be part of a potential deal between the two teams.

According to Outkick’s Armando Salguero, the Texans have not shown interest in Tagovailoa. They’re more focused on acquiring several first-round draft picks if they trade Watson, which could prove to be too great of an obstacle.

Salguero also reports that Watson’s preference is to be traded to the Dolphins but he would accept a trade to the Carolina Panthers, as well. Watson has a full no-trade clause in his contract, so he has control over where he ends up.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported on Saturday that Houston wants three first-round picks and two second-round picks for Watson. Interested teams have asked the Texans about pick protections due to the ongoing sexual assault lawsuits and investigations against Watson.

Watson could be suspended by the NFL at some point. However, the trade market for him may be heating up due to the fact that his legal situation could drag on for quite some time. If that happens, Watson may remain eligible to play all through 2021.

Tagovailoa is entering the season as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback after they selected him with the fifth overall pick last year. You have to wonder how much the former Alabama star has impressed the team if they’re willing to give up significant assets for Watson.

Report: Dolphins are frontrunners in Deshaun Watson trade talks

Deshaun Watson

There appears to be actual momentum in trade talks involving Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the Miami Dolphins have emerged as frontrunners in talks for Watson. The Texans are still asking for three first-round picks and two second-round selections, while other teams are still seeking pick protections due to Watson’s legal issues.

This report comes on the heels of an earlier report claiming there was increasing talk around the NFL that Watson could be traded before the start of the regular season.

It does not sound like any deal is done, or particularly close to it. However, there are clearly talks going on involving Watson. This is something of a surprise when you consider the Texans’ asking price combined with the numerous allegations against him. However, there was always a chance that interest in Watson would linger as long as it looks like he’ll be able to play in 2021.

The 25-year-old Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards in 2020, and is undoubtedly a franchise quarterback when on the field. The Dolphins have been consistently linked to him throughout the offseason, with talk that they were even willing to part with their own franchise quarterback to get Watson before the allegations against him mounted.

Dolphins’ Allen Hurns expected to miss three months with wrist injury

miami dolphins logo

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Allen Hurns has not played since 2019 after he opted out of last season due to COVID-19, and his return is going to have to wait a while longer.

Hurns is expected to miss three months after suffering a wrist injury that will require surgery, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Hurns signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Dolphins prior to the 2019 season. He had decent involvement in the offense in his first year with the team, catching 32 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns. It will be tough for him to duplicate that this year after missing several games, and that assumes he even remains on the roster.

Prior to signing with Miami, Hurns spent a season with the Dallas Cowboys. The 29-year-old appeared in all 16 games in 2018 and caught 20 passes.

Jimmy Johnson reveals that Dolphins had chance to trade up for Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

The Miami Dolphins have been plagued by missing on the opportunity to acquire some franchise quarterbacks over the last several years. We already knew about the big blunder involving Nick Saban’s tenure as Dolphins head coach. Now we also know about a missed opportunity under Jimmy Johnson.

Johnson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last weekend. The current FOX NFL analyst won two Super Bowls as head coach of the Cowboys and then left because of issues with team owner Jerry Jones. A few years later, Johnson returned to coaching and joined the Dolphins from 1996-1999.

Dan Marino was Miami’s quarterback for all four seasons Johnson coached the team. But Johnson recently revealed that he had the opportunity to trade up in the 1998 draft to get Peyton Manning. Manning was selected No. 1 overall by Indianapolis that year and went on to have a Hall of Fame career.

“It would have taken my entire draft board, but I could have made a trade to move up to get Peyton Manning,” Johnson revealed on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz“. “In fact, I talked to Peyton and Archie about it this weekend.”

Johnson was pressed for more information but declined to go further.

“That’s all the details I can give you,” he said. “I probably gave you too much already.”

Considering Marino stayed with Miami through 1999 before retiring, it’s possible that the franchise did not want to have a messy split with its legendary quarterback. Or maybe they felt the price to pay for Manning would have been too much. Or maybe there was another reason they didn’t make the deal.

We do know one thing: Johnson was not afraid to make bold trades. In this case, the Dolphins didn’t pull the trigger. They have been looking for a franchise quarterback ever since.

H/T CBS Sports

Xavien Howard, Dolphins agree to restructured contract

Xavien Howard

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard publicly requested a trade last month, but the Pro Bowler is not going anywhere.

Howard and the Dolphins have agreed to a restructured contract, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. The team has rescinded all of the money that Howard was fined for missing minicamp in addition to adding incentives to his deal.

As Garafolo noted, Howard still had four years remaining on his contract. He signed that five-year extension in May 2019, and he said recently that he “didn’t completely understand” the deal at the time. He also said he did not feel the Dolphins were working with him in good faith.

The Dolphins have also assured Howard that they will renegotiate his contract after the 2021 season to pay him more in line with his performance.

Howard was initially set to make $12.1 million this season. His teammate, Byron Jones, signed a five-year, $82.5 million free agent contract with Miami last year. Howard was frustrated that he led the NFL in interceptions with 10 last season and wasn’t even the highest-paid defensive back on his team.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores made it clear this week that he did not want to part ways with Howard. The new contract should resolve any issues between the two sides, at least for now.

Dolphins coach shares thoughts on Xavien Howard’s trade request

Xavien Howard

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard publicly requested a trade last week, but head coach Brian Flores has made it clear that he does not want to part ways with the star cornerback.

Howard issued a very professional statement explaining how he feels he has outperformed his current contract. He said he and his agent have tried to negotiate a new deal but that he does not feel the Dolphins have dealt with him in good faith. Flores told reporters on Friday in no uncertain terms that he wants to resolve the situation.

“We don’t want to trade X. Write that down,” Flores said, via Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network. “He’s a very good player. He’s a big part of the team. We don’t want to trade him.”

Flores also expressed confidence in Howard and the Dolphins being able to reach a new contract agreement.

“Talks are progressing. You take from that what you want … As long as everyone is willing to compromise, we can get something done,” the coach added.

Howard was the No. 38 overall pick by Miami in 2016. He had a league-high seven interceptions in 2018 and made the Pro Bowl that season. He then switched agents to Damarius Bilbo, who helped negotiate his five-year extension signed in May 2019. Howard said he “didn’t completely understand” that deal at the time.

After he led the NFL with 10 interceptions last year, Howard says he is frustrated that he isn’t even the highest-paid cornerback on his own team. He is set to make $12.1 million this season. His teammate, Byron Jones, signed a five-year, $82.5 million free agent contract with Miami last year and is paid more. Flores’ remarks could be an indication that the Dolphins are working toward remedying that.