Miami Dolphins: Xavien Howard a Deshaun Watson trade piece?

If the Houston Texans trade QB Deshaun Watson, it will be a blockbuster deal. Could Xavien Howard be a chip for the Miami Dolphins?

The Houston Texans are reportedly willing to listen to trade offers on star quarterback Deshaun Watson after standing firm earlier in 2021 that they would not trade him at all. Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract and even with pending legal issues, there are apparently multiple teams in the NFL right now who would be willing to pay the price to acquire the former first-round pick.

Since the rumors of Watson demanding a trade out of Houston surfaced, one of the teams that made a lot of sense was the Miami Dolphins.

At the time, however, the Dolphins had some really high selections in the 2021 NFL Draft which have now obviously been spent.

Miami still has a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft which they acquired from the San Francisco 49ers. Although the Miami Dolphins’ draft assets in 2022 are limited compared to their 2021 hoard of picks, they still have assets that would be attractive to the Houston Texans in a hypothetical trade scenario for Watson.

Those discussions probably start with Miami’s star cornerback Xavien Howard, who has been a bit disgruntled this offseason about his contract situation, anyway.

Hypothetical Miami Dolphins-Houston Texans trade idea

If Watson prefers Miami as a destination (which matters because of his no-trade clause), the Dolphins certainly could put together a compelling offer.

They could hypothetically offer their top two picks in the 2022 NFL Draft as well as their top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft along with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and cornerback Xavien Howard as the centerpiece.

Houston receives:

  • CB Xavien Howard
  • QB Tua Tagovailoa
  • 2022 1st-round pick
  • 2022 2nd-round pick
  • 2023 1st-round pick

Miami receives:

  • QB Deshaun Watson

Who knows if there would be more that either team would need to include in the deal, but that would certainly be the meat of it.

The Texans are holding out for no fewer than three first-round picks, and the Dolphins would have to get creative in sending back that kind of value. Tagovailoa was their first-round pick in 2020 and he obviously still holds plenty of value (although that value is in the eye of the beholder).

Howard definitely has value coming off of a massive 10-interception season. He just turned 28 and should still have plenty of years left as a premier cornerback in the NFL.

The Texans would have to weigh any offer from Miami against another team. A team like the Philadelphia Eagles could offer much better draft capital in return, but does Watson want to play there?

Again, that matters.

Getting players like Howard and Tagovailoa along with high draft choices would be a solid deal for the Houston Texans, and probably a steal for the Miami Dolphins who already have some contingencies in place behind Howard on their roster, specifically 2020 first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene.