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#pounditTuesday, May 11, 2021

Deshaun Watson

Could this surprise team emerge in Deshaun Watson sweepstakes?

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson seems likely to be traded before the start of the 2021 season despite what the Houston Texans say, and the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets have been mentioned as two possible suitors. Perhaps there is another AFC East team that could swoop in and make things interesting.

Michael Silver of NFL Network has maintained for months that he believes Watson will be traded. He reiterated that on Wednesday and mentioned the Dolphins, Jets and Carolina Panthers before throwing the — wait for it — New England Patriots into the mix.

“As bad as the relationship between Jack Easterby and the Kraft family is, Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick could probably get on the phone and have some creative conversations,” Silver said.

Easterby works as the executive vice president of football operations for the Texans. He was a character coach for the Patriots for several years before taking the job in Houston. When the Pats filed tampering charges against the Texans over their pursuit of Caserio two years ago, Easterby was at the center of the disagreement between the two clubs.

Belichick has since offered a brutally honest take on Easterby’s role with the Texans. However, as Silver mentioned, it would stand to reason that Belichick and Caserio still have a good relationship.

Watson has a no-trade clause, and it’s unclear if he would even want to play for the Patriots. He seems to be spending a lot of time in one specific city this offseason, but New England’s free agent spending spree over the past few days may impact his mindset.

Details of Deshaun Watson sexual assault lawsuit revealed

Deshaun Watson

A sexual assault lawsuit was filed against Deshaun Watson on Tuesday night, and the Houston Texans quarterback is going to have to answer a lot of questions about the specific allegations.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reviewed the lawsuit, which you can read in its entirety here. In it, the plaintiff says Watson came to her house for a massage on March 30, 2020. The lawsuit states that Watson “assaulted Plaintiff by touching her with his penis.”

Watson is also accused of telling the woman he “wanted her focus to be on his groin area.” The plaintiff said she believed Watson only wanted a massage so he could attempt to have sex with her.

After Watson allegedly assaulted the woman, she says the quarterback told her, “I know you have a career and a reputation, and I know you would hate for someone to mess with yours, just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.” She says she interpreted the remarks as a threat.

The plaintiff says at least two other players contacted her about massages after the incident and said they were referred to her by “Big D.” She also said Watson apologized to her via text message.

The woman said the primary reason for her lawsuit is to “raise awareness, and to prevent Deshaun Watson and those like him from engaging in further conduct with other future victims.” She is seeking unspecified compensation as well.

Watson issued a response to the lawsuit on Tuesday night, but he did not go into detail about the allegations. You can see his response here.

The attorney representing the plaintiff in the case may have a prior connection to the Texans.

Are the Texans softening their stance on trading Deshaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans have stated publicly that they have no intention of trading Deshaun Watson, and all indications have been that they are telling interested teams the same. One reporter who has covered the team for years is not buying it.

Longtime Houston reporter John McClain noted on Wednesday that it has been several weeks since the Texans said they are not trading Watson. That is one of the reasons McClain believes the star quarterback will be moved.

That’s not entirely true, however. If you want to get technical, Texans owner Cal McNair said roughly a month ago that there has been “a lot of misinformation” going around about the Watson situation. McNair said he expects Watson to remain with the team.

Still, we get the point McClain was trying to make. Things have been awfully quiet in Houston regarding Watson. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Wednesday that the Texans still aren’t engaging with any teams that call about Watson, but there have been signs that a trade is not out of the question.

New Texans coach David Culley even appeared to hint recently that Watson could be on borrowed time in Houston. Couple those remarks with the fact that Watson is now facing a sexual assault lawsuit, and it would not be a surprise if the situation changed in a hurry.

Attorney Tony Buzbee claims to have been Cal McNair’s neighbor

Deshaun Watson

A sexual assault lawsuit was brought against Deshaun Watson this week, and many are questioning whether the attorney in the case has a direct link to the Houston Texans.

Tony Buzbee revealed in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday that he and an alleged victim have filed a lawsuit against Watson. Buzbee’s client reportedly claims Watson was getting a massage from a woman who says “Watson went too far.” After Buzbee went public about the suit, it was discovered that he once claimed to be the neighbor of Texans owner Cal McNair.

When Johnny Manziel was coming out of college at Texas A&M, Buzbee paid for several billboards in the Houston area urging the Texans to draft the quarterback. Buzbee recently posted on Instagram reminiscing about the billboards. He referred to McNair as “my neighbor” in the post.

That connection will almost certainly be of interest to Watson and his legal representatives. Watson has already issued a response to the lawsuit, but he did not go into detail about the allegations. You can see his response here.

Of course, there are now questions about whether the Texans are behind the lawsuit. One line of thought is that they could be trying to smear Watson’s name to justify trading him. Though, the allegations could also weaken the market for him.

Deshaun Watson responds to sexual assault lawsuit allegation

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson responded on social media Tuesday night after an attorney filed a lawsuit against him alleging sexual assault, according to FOX 26 in Houston’s Natalie Hee.

According to Hee, Buzbee’s client alleges that Watson was getting a massage from a woman who says “Watson went too far.”

Here is what Buzbee wrote on Facebook about the suit.

“I am extremely proud to represent those who have no perceived power against those who have PERCEIVED power. Things are changing in this country, in this great state, and in this great city. And I feel like it’s for the better, for all of us!

“Today we filed suit against Deshaun Watson. Too many times women have put up with behavior that we all know no one should put up with.

“Should we make excuses for the famous? Or those who hold special positions, or quarterbacks on a local professional football team? I don’t think so! All people are equal, and all deserve dignity and respect.

“My dad was a butcher. My mother drove my school bus and worked in the snack bar. Knowing what I know now: My momma had more dignity in her pinky finger than most executives or coaches or politicians or famous athletes have in their whole bodies!

“This case we just filed against Watson isn’t about money—it’s about dignity and stopping behavior that should be stopped, NOW! Stay tuned for details. LET ME SAY THIS. I’m a Marine. I’m not easily intimidated. If you have info or have been part of this, contact my office,” he wrote.

The Houston Texans quarterback responded in a note posted on social media. He accused Buzbee of being a “publicity-seeking” lawyer. Watson says Buzbee made a six-figure settlement demand, which the QB rejected, before the attorney filed the lawsuit.

Watson, 25, has been the quarterback of the Texans since they drafted him No. 12 overall in 2017. He is seeking a trade away from the team.

Did Texans coach hint that Deshaun Watson will be traded?

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans have maintained that they will not trade Deshaun Watson, but their new head coach hardly sounds convinced.

NFL Media’s Jim Trotter interviewed Texans head coach David Culley for the “Huddle & Flow” podcast this week, and naturally the two discussed the Watson situation. Following the conversation, Trotter said he strongly believes Watson will be traded this offseason.

Culley did not say whether the Texans are open to trading Watson, but he described Watson as Houston’s quarterback “right now.” He also said the Texans “want guys who are all in.”

That message is a lot different from the one Texans owner Cal McNair and general manager Nick Caserio delivered in recent weeks. Caserio is said to be totally opposed to trading Watson, and McNair told the media he is confident the star quarterback will remain with the franchise for a long time.

Not long after Trotter gave a sneak preview of Culley’s remarks, the coach spoke with the media. It seemed like he changed his tune a bit, which raises the question of whether someone in the organization got in his ear.

The Texans have been so committed to working things out with Watson that they reportedly won’t even answer the phone when rival teams call about him. Though, that could merely be posturing leading up to the draft.

We know of at least one team that has reportedly gone all-in on trying to trade for Watson. If Culley’s comments are any indication, the Texans are probably just trying to up the price for Watson as much as possible.

Dolphins reportedly ‘all-in’ on Deshaun Watson trade

Deshaun Watson

The Miami Dolphins have been mentioned as one of the most logical suitors for Deshaun Watson, and it sounds like they have not given up on the idea of landing him this offseason.

Even as the Houston Texans continue to insist they will not trade Watson, Chris Simms of NBC Sports has been told the Dolphins are not giving up. Simms said on Tuesday’s “ProFootballTalk Live” podcast that sources have told him Miami still wants Watson.

“I do think that Miami is going to go all-in on trying to get Deshaun Watson. I do,” Simms said, via Dan Lyons of The Spun. “I got that sense from people I trust around the league. So I don’t look at them as drafting a quarterback.”

Many around the NFL believe the Texans are simply playing hardball. With Watson reportedly willing to skip regular season games, they may eventually have no choice but to deal him.

If Houston does cave, the Dolphins make sense as a trade partner. They have both the No. 3 and No. 18 overall in next month’s draft. Miami could also include Tua Tagovailoa in the deal, which would leave the Texans with a potential long-term solution at quarterback. Or, Houston could draft a QB third overall this year.

Miami is on Watson’s list of preferred trade destinations, and he has been spending a lot of time there this offseason. There’s at least a chance he may be calling it home in the near future.

Does this team make sense as the front-runner for Deshaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson

The Texans are determined to convince everyone that they will not trade Deshaun Watson this offseason, but we are eventually going to find out how serious they are. If Watson does successfully force his way out of Houston, could Chicago be his next stop?

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington spoke with “The Rich Eisen Show” about the Watson situation on Thursday, and he said there is a belief around the NFL that Watson will eventually become available. Darlington is under the impression that the Texans are waiting as long as possible “whether for leverage or public relations reasons.”

Eisen mentioned the Bears as a possible suitor, and Darlington agreed that would make sense. The reporter explained that Chicago general manager Ryan Pace is trying to save his job while Texans GM Nick Caserio is just beginning a rebuild.

“When it comes to the potential suitors and a team like the Bears, here’s the way it was presented to me: You’ve got a GM in Nick Caserio who’s trying to build the organization, so he’s going to covet future picks more so than maybe a GM that’s on the hot seat. Where in Chicago you’ve got Ryan Pace where if he doesn’t get a quarterback, he’s done,” Darlington said.

Of course, Caserio wants to rebuild around Watson — not use him as a trade chip. However, if Watson is as serious about being traded as a recent report claimed, the Texans may be left with no choice.

Chicago declined the fifth-year option on Mitchell Trubisky’s rookie contract, so he is set to become a free agent. The Bears still have Nick Foles on their roster, but Watson is not the only star quarterback they have been linked to.

Jalen Ramsey offers noteworthy prediction on Deshaun Watson situation

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson has held his ground since informing the Houston Texans he wants to be traded, and Jalen Ramsey does not see that changing. Considering the connection Watson and Ramsey have, the All-Pro cornerback’s opinion on the subject holds plenty of weight.

Ramsey was a guest on the “Huddle and Flow” podcast this week with Jim Trotter and Thomas Warren. He was asked about Watson’s trade demand, and he said he is confident the quarterback is not bluffing.

“I highly doubt he will suit up in a Texans’ uniform again,” Ramsey said, via NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. “He’s extremely serious.”

Why is that noteworthy? Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta, also represents Ramsey. It was with the help of Mulugheta that Ramsey forced his way out of Jacksonville, so he has been there before and probably knows more about Watson’s mindset than most.

The Texans insist they are not going to trade Watson, but that stance could eventually change. One of the latest reports we heard about Watson’s mindset made it clear he wants nothing to do with Houston. If he holds firm, he will probably get his way sooner rather than later.

Deshaun Watson sure seems to love spending time in Miami

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson sure seems to love spending time in Miami.

The Houston Texans quarterback was photographed hanging out at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The person pictured with Watson shared the photo on Instagram Sunday.

In February, Watson was dining with some Dolphins players at a Miami hotspot.

Watson has wanted a trade from the Texans since the season ended. The Dolphins are one of the teams Watson reportedly prefers as a trade destination, and they are listed among the favorites to get him. The problem for him is that the Texans appear to have no intent to let him go.

The 25-year-old quarterback has played four seasons in the NFL and passed for 33 touchdowns last season.