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Source: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross “really wants” Deshaun Watson

The Dolphins are shying away from trade rumors surrounding them and Deshaun Watson, but any trade the Texans could barter is guaranteed to be complex.

The Dolphins haven’t said that they don’t want quarterback Deshaun Watson. There’s a good reason for that.

They do.

Per a league source, owner Stephen Ross “really wants” the Texans quarterback. For now, however, the Dolphins and Texans have been unable to reach a deal.

Last year, Ross wanted to trade up for Joe Burrow. The Bengals refused any and all offers Miami made for the first overall pick in the draft. The Dolphins settled for Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall selection. In so doing, they left quarterback Justin Herbert on the board.

With Watson, a short-list franchise quarterback Ross has long coveted, now available, Ross wants to get him. The Texans, however, continue to have unrealistic expectations. They reportedly want three first-round picks and a pair of second-round picks. While there may be some play in that widely-reported package, the Texans aren’t willing to soften their expectations to account for the uncertainty arising from Watson’s legal situation.

As explained during Tuesday’s PFT Live, the Texans possibly refuse to relent because they realize that Watson’s next team will be getting a 10-year answer at the position. Despite any possible short-term unavailability, he’ll most likely will eventually be cleared to play, whether in 2022, 2023, or 2024.

The owner’s desire to get Deshaun likely won’t wane -- unless Tagovailoa becomes a franchise quarterback in 2021.

What if Miami offers three first-round picks and a third-round pick? Or three first-round picks and a player or two? Or a pair of first-round picks and Tua? There are significant offers that the Dolphins could make that would be less than three ones and two twos but that would be more than what the Texans otherwise will get before the 2021 trade deadline.

The overriding question continues to be whether the Texans will pay Watson to not play until he can be traded in 2022 (at the earliest) or whether they will take what they can get.