Dolphins HC Brian Flores, GM Chris Grier stand by Tua Tagovailoa after standing pat at deadline

In the aftermath of failed trade negotiations between the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins regarding quarterback Deshaun Watson Watson, the Dolphins can now move on from the distraction of questions surrounding the club’s belief in second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa. And that surely suits coach Brian Flores just fine.

Despite months of trade discussions, Flores has maintained a position of full faith in their 2020 first-round draft pick.

“I love the people in this building … we have the right ingredients,” Flores said Wednesday, per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacquez.

Tagovailoa deflected questions about a potential deal last week, saying “I don’t feel not wanted.” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, was granted 11th-hour permission to speak with Watson before the deal ultimately fell through.

“No trade was made. As an organization, we decided not to make the deal,” said Dolphins GM Chris Grier, via NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe.

Watson had been the subject of speculation that a trade between the Texans and Dolphins could be in the works for weeks, speculation that intensified as the NFL’s Tuesday trade deadline grew closer.

Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits and multiple investigations surrounding accusations of sexual misconduct alleged to have taken place in massage sessions, which made trading him more complicated for the Texans. Watson has not been charged.

Tagovailoa has completed 103 of 157 passes this season for 1,040 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. The Dolphins have struggled to protect he and Jacoby Brissett, who made three starts while Tagovailoa recovered from fractured ribs sustained in Week 2, when the Buffalo Bills pass rush overwhelmed Miami with six sacks. Of late, the team’s pass protection has improved, but the offensive line will likely be among its priorities this offseason as it continues building around Tagovailoa.

Selected No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL draft, Tagovailoa has compiled a 7-7 record as a starter.

“We’re very happy with Tua. We think he’s developing well,” said Grier, per David Furones of the Sun-Sentinel.

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