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#pounditThursday, July 29, 2021

Deshaun Watson

Report: 10 women have filed police complaints against Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson is not currently facing any criminal charges stemming from the sexual assault allegations against him, but several women have now filed complaints with the police.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN’s John Barr on Monday that 10 women have made formal complaints to the Houston Police Department. Eight of those women are among the 22 who have filed civil lawsuits against Watson, while two are not involved in the suits.

Hardin says Watson’s legal team is fully cooperating with the Houston police and the Harris County District Attorney’s office. They also plan to cooperate with the NFL when the criminal investigation concludes.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Watson, said in a statement to ESPN that “almost half of these women have given sworn statements to the police, and almost half have spoken to the NFL’s investigative team.” He also called the processes with the police and the NFL “very lengthy,” which has created uncertainty with Watson’s situation.

Depositions for the alleged victims in the lawsuits have not yet been scheduled, but they will not begin before September. Watson will not be deposed until February 2022.

Settlements are always possible, but Hardin has been adamant that Watson will not sign any settlement that includes a confidentiality agreement.

“I do not want anybody to be saying that this guy paid off women to stay quiet and so, if there ever was a settlement of any kind, it would have to be public and therefore both sides, [Watson] and the women, would be able to say to the world at large whatever they wanted,” Hardin told ESPN.

Hardin also insisted there several NFL teams that are “ready to jump now” at the opportunity to trade for Watson, even with numerous legal issues pending.

A report on Monday claimed the Texans are open to trading Watson, but the asking price is still very high. Teams will likely want to wait until they can at least be sure no criminal charges will be filed against the star quarterback. It also remains possible that Watson will be suspended or placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which complicates things further.

Deshaun Watson’s QB coach makes bold prediction about potential trade

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans are reportedly open to trading Deshaun Watson, and it sounds like those close to the quarterback believe it is only a matter of time before he ends up with a new team.

Quincy Avery, who has been Watson’s personal QB coach since Watson was in high school, predicted on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” recently that Deshaun would be traded before the Texans reported to training camp on Sunday. That obviously did not happen, but Avery also said he is certain Watson will be traded this offseason.

The podcast was recorded on Friday. You can hear the relevant clip below:

“I know there’s teams out there that want him. I’m 100 percent sure he’ll be traded at some point in the coming future,” Avery said. “I think the Texans have made the decision to move on. He doesn’t want to be there. They’re ready to move on. All they want is fair market value for him, and they’ll get a lot.”

Avery also said this offseason is “the best I’ve ever seen Deshaun look,” though his opinion is obviously biased.

Watson is still under NFL investigation after more than 20 massage therapists accused him of sexual misconduct. The women have all filed lawsuits against Watson, but those civil cases may not be resolved until next year.

The Texans are not lowering their asking price for Watson despite the allegations. There are likely fewer teams interested in him now than there were several months ago, though one team has been mentioned as a possible suitor even this late in the offseason.

Report: Texans willing to trade Deshaun Watson at this price

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans were adamant earlier in the offseason that they were not going to trade Deshaun Watson, but a lot has changed since then. If rival teams remain interested, the Texans are now all ears.

The Texans have been open to fielding trade offers for Watson “for quite some time,” Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network report. The asking price remains very high, however, as Houston wants at least three first-round picks and then some.

Watson reported to training camp on Sunday, which means he will avoid mandatory fines of $50,000 per day. Pelissero notes that the star quarterback carried himself in a respectful manner but has reiterated that he wants out of Houston.

It makes sense that the Texans are willing to trade Watson now, as he is being sued by more than 20 massage therapists who have accused him of sexual assault. The NFL is still investigating the allegations, and Watson seems likely to be suspended at some point. Until there is more clarity surrounding the situation, teams probably aren’t going to offer multiple first-round picks.

The fact that Watson was not placed on the commissioner’s exempt list prior to training camp may be a positive sign. That could indicate that the NFL does not believe a major violation occurred.

Most teams have their quarterback situation sorted at this point in the offseason. However, there have been rumblings that at least one still has strong interest in Watson.

NFL has not found major violation in Deshaun Watson investigation?

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson is still facing lawsuits from several massage therapists who have accused the star quarterback of sexual misconduct. He also remains under investigation by the NFL, but he reported to the Houston Texans on Sunday. Could that be a sign that Watson is going to be cleared to play this season?

There has been speculation all offseason that the NFL might place Watson on the commissioner’s exempt list. Some expected that move to come before training camp, but it doesn’t appear that is going to happen. As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero notes, the NFL’s personal conduct policy states that a player can be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list when an investigation leads the commissioner to believe a major violation has occurred. Yet, Watson still remains active.

That could mean very little. We don’t know how far along the NFL is with its investigation, though it has been several weeks now. It would also stand to reason that the league would prefer to provide some clarity on the situation before training camp. If nothing else, the fact that he has not been suspended or placed on the exempt list yet is positive news for him.

Watson has not been criminally charged. The lawsuits against him have the potential to drag into next year, but the NFL does not have to wait for them to play out in order to make a ruling. While the expectation has been that Watson will face some sort of suspension, the situation remains in flux.

Watson still wants the Texans to trade him, and at least one team may be interested in acquiring the 25-year-old.

Deshaun Watson will report to training camp, still wants trade

Deshaun Watson

The NFL has yet to announce any disciplinary action against Deshaun Watson, and the star quarterback appears to be proceeding with his offseason like he normally would.

Watson is expected to be in Houston on Sunday when the Texans begin the process of opening training camp, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Players will begin reporting to the team on Sunday to undergo COVID-19 testing to be cleared for training camp.

By showing up on time, Watson will avoid mandatory fines of $50,000 per day. However, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Watson still wants out of Houston.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women who say they did massage therapy work for him. No criminal charges have been filed. The NFL is still investigating the claims, though Watson had not been interviewed by the league as of a few weeks ago.

There was recently speculation that the NFL could place Watson on the commissioner’s exempt list prior to training camp, but the league probably would have made that move by now.

Many assume Watson will be suspended at some point, even if the lawsuits against him have the potential to drag into next year. As far as a possible trade goes, one team may still be willing to negotiate with the Texas.

Could NFL place Deshaun Watson on exempt list before training camp?

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson’s legal situation isn’t getting any clearer, and with training camp right around the corner, it may force the NFL into making some sort of decision on his status.

In a recent appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Albert Breer of The MMQB suggested that the league may consider placing Watson on the commissioner’s exempt list at the start of training camp. Placement on the exempt list would mean Watson is paid his salary, but is not counted as a member of the active roster and cannot practice or play in games.

The situation is somewhat complicated by Watson’s stated desire to leave the Houston Texans, meaning the quarterback might not show up anyway. However, teams cannot forgive training camp fines under the new CBA, so putting Watson on the exempt list might be a way to placate both the team and the player.

“My sense is the league would probably try to kick the can down the road as long as the legal situation’s still playing out, and the way they kick the can down the road is that exempt clause. They put the player on paid leave and they basically push pause on the whole thing,” Breer said. “With the training camp reporting date being a week and a half, two weeks away, you would think that they would have to make a decision whether or not to put him on the exempt list unless Watson’s lawyers can find a way to reach a settlement between now and July 27.”

Breer added that league discipline of some sort is still expected for Watson, and the quarterback is unlikely to play to start the season no matter what. However, he did suggest that Watson had at least a decent chance of playing at some point in 2021.

“I think there’s a possibility and a good chance he plays in 2021,” Breer said. “I do not think he’ll be playing for any team in Week 1.”

Watson has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women. The NFL investigation is proceeding slowly, as Watson had yet to be interviewed about the allegations as of last month. There is still some talk that Watson could be traded, perhaps to this team, despite him facing multiple lawsuits and the likelihood of league discipline.

Could Deshaun Watson be traded to this team before season?

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson’s status remains unclear as training camp quickly approaches, but there is a chance the trade market for him could still heat up before the start of the regular season. If it does, the Philadelphia Eagles may be the team to watch.

During a Wednesday morning appearance on “The John Kincade Show” on 97.5 The Fanatic, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Eagles are in the best position to make a run at Watson should there be more clarity surrounding the star quarterback’s situation in the coming weeks.

“The Eagles are more equipped to make a run at DeShaun Watson than any other team out there,” Schefter said. “And if you put DeShaun Watson on the Philadelphia Eagles they become a Super Bowl contender right away.”

Schefter added that the Eagles will be “waiting” for when Watson’s legal issues are settled. He noted that Philadelphia once gave Michael Vick a second chance, so they might be the type of organization that would welcome Watson despite the sexual assault allegations against him.

The Eagles are hoping Jalen Hurts proves he can be a viable starter this season, but Watson is already an established star. It’s possible that Philly could wait until next offseason to try to acquire Watson, as they may have an extra first-round pick by then via the Carson Wentz trade.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women who say they did massage therapy work for him. The NFL is still investigating the claims, though Watson had not been interviewed by the league as of a few weeks ago.

Many assume Watson will either be suspended by the NFL or placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. The league probably wants to come to a decision before the start of the season, even if the lawsuits against Watson have the potential to drag into next year.

Deshaun Watson has not been interviewed by NFL about sexual assault cases

Deshaun Watson

The NFL is conducting its own investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson, but the Houston Texans star has not yet been given an opportunity to tell league officials his side of the story.

Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, told KPPRC 2 in Houston this week that Watson has yet to be interviewed by anyone from the NFL. Hardin also said there are no talks ongoing about potential settlements with any of the 22 women who have filed civil suits against Watson.

The attorney who represents all of the alleged victims said recently that he and his team are preparing for the cases to be tried in front of a jury. Hardin said depositions are set to begin in September, though no specific date was given. That would be close to or beyond the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Many assume Watson will either be suspended by the NFL or placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. The league probably wants to come to a decision before the start of the season, even if the lawsuits against Watson have the potential to drag into next year.

Watson informed the Texans earlier this offseason that he wants to be traded, and he reportedly has a specific destination in mind.

Attorney Tony Buzbee offers update in Deshaun Watson case

Deshaun Watson

There has been very little information recently regarding the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson, but the attorney representing the alleged victims provided an update this week.

Tony Buzbee, the lawyer for the massage therapists who have filed lawsuits against Watson, said in an Instagram post on Thursday that his clients still have no interest in settling. He did, however, leave open the possibility of settlements when he said “at least not yet.”

“As I’ve said: There will not be a settlement, at least anytime soon,” Buzbee wrote. “I have my best people on the case. That should tell you a lot about our intentions.”

Buzbee said his legal team is in the process of preparing to try each of the alleged victims’ cases in front of a jury. He also shot down the theory that he has suddenly gone “quiet” because he is working on settling with Watson and the quarterback’s attorney, Rusty Hardin. You can see the full Instagram post below:

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk speculates that Buzbee and his clients may want to settle, but some of them could be unwilling to waive confidentiality. Keep in mind that all of the cases are civil in nature. No criminal charges have been filed against Watson.

The reality is the cases could drag on for quite a while longer — perhaps even into 2022. The NFL has been conducting its own investigation and must decide whether to suspend Watson prior to the 2021 season. The Houston Texans star could also be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

Watson informed the Texans earlier this offseason that he wants to be traded, and he reportedly has a specific destination in mind.

Is Deshaun Watson hoping to make his way to this team?

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson’s status remains up in the air as the NFL investigates the sexual assault allegations against him. It is unclear if the Houston Texans have altered their stance on not wanting to trade the star quarterback, but the Denver Broncos could be the team to watch if they do.

Broncos safety Kareem Jackson, who was teammates with Watson in Houston, said on the “Catchin’ Fades with Aqib Talib” podcast this week that Watson told him he wants to play for Denver.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media disputed that report. He said Watson has been getting recruited by “countless” players and former teammates, but he doesn’t believe the 25-year-old is set on playing for the Broncos. Though, Rapoport does view Denver as a “possible spot.”

Watson’s situation is extremely complicated. Most people seem to believe he will be suspended, but no one is sure when or for how long. His legal proceedings could drag on for quite a while, though the NFL is conducting its own investigation.

One recent report claimed Watson is certain to be traded if one particular scenario plays out. The Broncos were said to be interested in Aaron Rodgers at one point (and may still be), so they can’t be ruled out as a suitor for Watson.