Maybe Brian Flores could go to Deshaun Watson instead of the other way around.
With the Houston Texans firing first-year coach David Culley on Thursday, a new coaching vacancy has opened up days after the Miami Dolphins parted ways with Flores after three seasons.
It happens to be the team the Dolphins were heavily involved with in trade talks for Watson, the elite but embattled quarterback, throughout the past offseason and up until the Nov. 2 trade deadline last season. Watson did not play in the 2021 season as, amid his trade request from the Texans, he faces 22 allegations of sexual misconduct, including two that allege sexual assault.
The Texans are expected to pursue Flores as their top candidate, according to Sports Talk 790 in Houston. The report noted Flores’ strong relationship with Texans general manager Nick Caserio, who has ties with Flores through their history with the New England Patriots.
Pump the brakes on going too far into the speculation of a Flores-Watson union in Houston, though. Watson still wants a trade. His issue, dating back to a trade request that now dates back a full calendar year, has always been with Texans ownership and not Culley, according to MMQB.
The Houston Chronicle added, “Watson will NOT be taking another snap for the Texans.”
Flores isn’t the only coach with New England ties that Caserio is expected to target. Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is “expected to emerge as a leading candidate,” according to ESPN.
If Flores ends up with Houston, he could get his first shot at his former team next fall. The Texans visit Miami for a game against the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Thus far, Flores has been known to have an interview lined up with the Chicago Bears, which will host the Dolphins for a game next year. Schedule dates are yet to be announced.
It is unknown if the Dolphins will continue to pursue Watson trade possibilities with a new coach coming in. In owner Steve Ross’ comments on Monday, he said any quarterback decisions will come down to what the franchise’s next coach wants to do.
Flores consistently dodged questions about Miami’s pursuit of Watson while having second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa running the offense last season, oftentimes repeating the statement “Tua’s our quarterback.”
Last time Dolphins general manager Chris Grier spoke, a day after the trade deadline, he described the Dolphins’ interest: “If there’s a player available around the league that’s viewed as being one of the top players around the league at any position, you look at it and try and go for it.”
Eight of the NFL’s 32 teams have head coaching vacancies. With Flores and Culley currently out, only one Black head coach remains, Mike Tomlin with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Other minority coaches are Washington Football Team’s Ron Rivera (Hispanic) and New York Jets’ Robert Saleh (Arab-American).
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports