Saturday, March 25, 2023

Dolphins say they were doing ‘due diligence’ on Watson

Miami Gardens, Fla. (NWN) — The Miami Dolphins for not signing nondisclosure agreements with the Houston quarterback for not signing nondisclosure agreements with the hopes of resolving sexual assault and misconduct cases against the Houston quarterback before the NFL trade deadline said, general manager Chris Grier said Wednesday.

Grier spoke a day after the deadline for a trade to be made this season, and without ever naming Watson – mindful of the tampering rules – said the Dolphins only took their own time when considering a deal. She was working hard.

That process, Grier said, did not involve reaching out to the accusers or their lawyer.

“Any suggestion that this organization is working behind the scenes and trying to influence decisions is absolutely ridiculous and clearly wrong,” Grier said. “So, to say that we will be involved is absolutely wrong.”

Watson has not been charged with a crime and has denied all wrongdoing. His request to trade out of Houston was around the end of last season, or about two months before accusers began to come forward with allegations of his misconduct.

Assuming matters go ahead, Watson is due to be deposed on February 22, or about three weeks before the new NFL league year begins – which is the next opportunity for him to be officially traded, though a deal is theoretical before it. can be agreed upon.

“I think, now that the summer is off, I probably won’t get calls from the other side to settle the case,” attorney Tony Buzby, who represents Watson’s allegations, told Houston television station Fox 26 KRIV. Told after business deadline. Tuesday passed. “Obviously there were some attempts to settle the matter, a lot of hard efforts and it didn’t happen.”

That effort, Grier said, was not coming from the Dolphins (1-7), which host Houston (1-7) on Sunday.

Buzby told the station that he did not talk directly with the Dolphins about settling the cases, instead talking with lawyers “who were acting as mediators” and Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin.

A major issue for Buzby’s customers, he said, was an insistence that they sign non-disclosure agreements as part of the settlement.

“That was a deal-breaker,” Buzby said.

Grier said the Dolphins never felt compelled to discuss the notion of acquiring Watson with the staff of the women’s team, adding that no deal was ever close. Grier said it was Miami’s decision to halt the search for a business — for now, anyway — but did not offer specific reasons.

“It never got to the point where anything was close to happening,” Grier said. “Of course, if that was happening we would certainly have thought about it and done something.”

The Dolphins’ interest in Watson hasn’t been a secret for months, which has raised several questions about whether the team believes the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft is the long-term answer in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa’s opponents can point to a lot of numbers. The longest finish of his NFL career is 40 yards; There are 64 other quarterbacks, including Dolphins backup Jacobi Brissette, who have made at least one throw long since the start of last season.

And among 32 quarterbacks with at least 10 since the start of 2020, Tagovailoa’s rating of 86.7 ranks 26th. That said, Dolphins coach Brian Flores has said repeatedly in recent weeks that Tagovailoa is Miami’s quarterback.

“He has gotten better. He has gotten a lot better and has had some good performances this season,” said Flores. “He just needs to take it day one and keep improving and getting better. This is where his attention should be, not on anything outside of it.”

Watson has a no-trade clause, although players can modify it to allow for the move of their choice. The Texans are not paying Watson to play, putting him on the inactive list every week.

Grier didn’t rule out the notion that he might be resuming the chase for Watson in the off-season.

“If there’s a player available around the league who is seen as one of the top players in the league in any situation, you look at it and try and go for it,” Grier said.


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