As the trade deadline nears, the rumblings regarding Miami's situation under center aren't dying down.
Last week, Dolphins coach Brian Flores was the one saddled with the responsibility of dispelling rumors involving Miami's purported interest in Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has not played this season. This week, it was Tua Tagovailoa's turn to answer questions about his uncertain future with the Dolphins -- and his second time responding to such inquiries in four days.
Watson currently faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions, as well as 10 criminal complaints. Watson also requested a trade from the Texans this past offseason.
Still, that hasn't kept interested teams from exploring Watson's availability, leading to multiple cycles of rumors and reports linking Watson to Miami, where Tagovailoa is currently the franchise quarterback. With Nov. 2 fast approaching, Tagovailoa can't reasonably avoid the topic, but he's maintaining the same line.
"I'm not even worried about that," Tagovailoa said Wednesday, via the Sun Sentinel's David Furones. "I don't even know when the trade deadline is."
Tagovailoa's constant inclusion in proposed trade talks makes it hard to believe he doesn't know when the trade deadline is, even if it did move deeper into the season with the league's addition of a 17th game. If your future could change drastically by a certain deadline, it would make sense to keep that date in mind.
Tagovailoa is focused on nothing but football, he'll have you believe, and that focus nearly produced a win for his struggling Dolphins last season. Tagovailoa threw two interceptions in the game, but also tossed four touchdown passes and had Miami in position to triumph before its defense failed to keep the Falcons out of field goal range.
It was the latest difficult defeat in a season quickly filling up with them. A 1-6 mark and a looming trade deadline would only seem to increase the urgency to potentially strike a Watson deal.
Still, Tagovailoa remains firm in his belief that he -- the No. 5 overall pick of the 2020 draft -- is the Dolphins' man under center.
"I have utmost confidence and trust I am the quarterback of this team," Tagovailoa said. "Off conversations I've had with Flo, those will stay private, I feel very confident I'm the person."
Tagovailoa is the quarterback of this team, at least right now. We'll continue talking about and monitoring this situation until that deadline passes, of course, and Tagovailoa won't have legitimate reassurance until that happens, unless he's dealt before the deadline.
Perhaps the saddest detail of all of this was Tagovailoa being asked if he still felt wanted by the team that was ecstatic to select him less than two years ago.
"I don't not feel wanted," Tagovailoa said.
We'll let that response tell the story for now.