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#pounditTuesday, May 11, 2021

Deshaun Watson

Is this NFC team still interested in a Deshaun Watson trade?

Deshaun Watson

The Texans have been in a holding pattern with Deshaun Watson since multiple women accused him of sexual assault. It is unclear whether the star quarterback still wants out of Houston or if a trade is possible given the circumstances, but apparently at least one team remains interested.

Peter King wrote in his latest NBC Sports column that his “gut feeling” is Watson will be with a new team when the 2022 season begins. He then listed some of his own odds for where Watson might end up, and the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers topped the list at 3-to-1. The Eagles will have an extra first-round pick next year if Carson Wentz plays at least 75 percent of the offensive snaps with the Indianapolis Colts, which could put them in a strong position to deal for Watson.

The Eagles are hoping Jalen Hurts proves he can be a viable NFL starter this season. That said, Mike Fisher of TexansDaily.com was told by a source that Watson is “still in play” for Philly. The timetable for when a Watson trade might take place is unclear, but Fisher reports that the Eagles are definitely still interested.

Watson is facing sexual assault lawsuits from 22 women who say they provided massage therapy for him in the past. The NFL is conducting its own investigation of the allegations, and Watson will almost certainly be suspended if not placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list.

A recent report claimed the Texans are in the process of moving on from Watson.

Texans in process of moving on from Deshaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson

It is unclear if Deshaun Watson will play at all in 2021 after he was accused of sexual assault by multiple women. And even if he does, it may not be for the Houston Texans.

During an appearance on “SportsCenter” Sunday morning, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that there is a belief around the NFL that the Texans have begun “slowly moving on” from Watson. Fowler said Houston is very high on rookie quarterback Davis Mills, according to Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway.

The Texans drafted Mills in the third round, so it would be a surprise if he is not on their roster in 2021. They also signed veteran Tyrod Taylor earlier in the offseason and are likely planning to go into Week 1 with him as their starter.

“A couple of months ago, the Texans were turning down everybody who was calling them about Deshaun Watson. Carolina was willing to give them the world; they said no,” Fowler reported. “They’ve been far less committal recently. They don’t know when Watson’s even going to be cleared to play. The league will consider putting Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt List later this summer if his case is still going on.”

Watson is facing sexual assault lawsuits from 22 women who say they provided massage therapy for him in the past. The NFL is conducting its own investigation of the allegations, and Watson will almost certainly be suspended if not placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list. It is unlikely that any team will be willing to trade for him without more clarity.

We know that at least these eight teams expressed trade interest in Watson at one point. Many of those teams have already gone in other directions while Watson’s future remains muddled.

Deshaun Watson may not play in NFL in 2021?

Deshaun Watson

While there has been a lot of discussion about Deshaun Watson as a trade candidate, it sounds entirely possible that he may not even play in the NFL this season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that there are people within the league who believe Watson has not only played his last game for the Houston Texans, but that Watson may not even play in the NFL in 2021. Schefter adds that this thinking informed Houston’s decision to use its third-round pick, the earliest pick the Texans held, on quarterback Davis Mills.

While Watson’s trade demand has unsettled the Texans, the major point of uncertainty stems from the 22 civil lawsuits Watson is facing alleging sexual assault. A league investigation is ongoing, as are the legal proceedings. It is unknown when any of those investigations might be resolved, throwing Watson’s season into uncertainty.

The Texans are keeping things close to the vest, so much so that the quarterback they drafted didn’t see it coming. At this rate, Mills might be in for a bigger role than anticipated very quickly.

Dolphins were willing to trade Tua Tagovailoa for Deshaun Watson

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins were at one point viewed as the favorite to land Deshaun Watson in a trade, but those talks fizzled out after the Houston Texans star was accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Had the two sides worked out a deal, however, it sounds like Tua Tagovailoa would have been included.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle was told that the plan for the Dolphins was to send Tagovailoa and draft picks — including the third overall pick this year — to Houston.

After news of the Watson scandal broke, the Dolphins pivoted to working out a blockbuster draft trade with the San Francisco 49ers. They shipped the No. 3 pick to the Niners in exchange for the No. 12 pick, a third-round pick this year and two future first-round picks.

Less than a week before Watson was first accused of sexual assault, a report claimed the Dolphins were “all-in” on trying to acquire the quarterback. Miami was also supposedly on Watson’s list of preferred trade destinations, and he had been spending a lot of time there this offseason.

None of that matters now, of course. The Dolphins are committed to Tagovailoa and the Texans are in a holding pattern with Watson. While Watson got some good news recently regarding his scandal, he is still facing allegations from numerous women.

The Texans were reportedly one of at least eight teams that showed interest in trading for Watson. You can see who the others were here.

These 8 teams reportedly showed interest in a Deshaun Watson trade

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson’s trade status was one of the major topics of discussion around the NFL prior to the sexual misconduct allegations he faced.

Watson demanded a trade from the Texans and reportedly insisted he would never play for Houston again. Watson is only 25 and has made three straight Pro Bowls. He is a franchise quarterback, which is why he was so coveted.

According to veteran Houston Chronicle writer John McClain, eight teams showed interest in trading for Watson prior to the allegations.

Those teams include: the Jets, Dolphins, Panthers, Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, Bears and Washington.

Much of the leverage Houston thought it would have for trade talks prior to the draft is gone. Several of those teams are expected to take quarterbacks high in the draft, including the Jets at No. 2 and 49ers at No. 3. The Panthers wanted Watson but settled for bringing in Sam Darnold.

Houston was hoping to get three first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a defensive starter for Watson. They probably would have gotten it too for someone so young and proven. Now they are left waiting for a touchy situation to get settled. Watson is still facing numerous allegations despite getting two cases dropped.

Deshaun Watson responds to specific allegations, requests jury trial

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson and his legal team now know the identities of all 22 women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against the star quarterback, and Watson continues to vehemently deny the allegations.

In a new court filing on Monday, Watson’s legal team provided responses to many of the specific claims made by the plaintiffs in the lawsuits. The filing states that many of the masseuses bragged about working with Watson and praised him, despite saying in their suits that the 25-year-old sexually assaulted them and was unprofessional. Watson’s lawyers say some of the plaintiffs continued to work with Watson after their alleged incidents and that some of them lied about the number of times they met with him.

Watson is also requesting a trial by jury. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media shared some of the important pieces of the legal filing:

While some of the alleged victims voluntarily came forward and revealed their identities, others were ordered by a judge to re-file their suits with their names attached. One accuser has dropped her lawsuit due to security and privacy concerns.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Texans GM Nick Caserio offers update on Deshaun Watson situation

Deshaun Watson

It was not all that long ago that the Houston Texans were insisting Deshaun Watson would be the face of their franchise for years to come, but suddenly they do not sound so certain.

Texans general manager Nick Caserio met with reporters on Friday, and naturally he was asked several questions about Watson. Since Watson is facing sexual assault allegations from at least 22 different women, Caserio said he cannot comment on the situation. He said he has nothing to add beyond the statement the Texans already put out.

“I would say, I really don’t have any comment,” Caserio said, via NFL.com. “I know Cal [McNair] and ownership put a letter out a few weeks ago relative to the organizational stance, relative to where we are. I don’t have anything to add other than its legal process and we respect the legal process and where that is. We’re focused on today, we’re focused on getting ready for the offseason program and getting ready for the draft, so that’s where our focus is.”

One new lawsuit was filed against Watson this week, which brought the total to 23. One woman then dropped her suit this week citing privacy and security concerns, so there are now 22 civil suits outstanding against the star quarterback. Houston police also confirmed earlier this month that one of the alleged victims has filed a complaint.

Caserio said he has heard a lot of speculation but isn’t going to add to it.

“We’re not going to get into a lot of hypotheticals, a lot of speculation,” the GM said. “I’m not really good at that. Maybe someone else is better at that than me. If you want to speculate, probably go buy Bitcoin and focus on that.”

Regardless of what happens with Watson from a legal standpoint, it would be a shock if he is not suspended by the NFL. He has maintained his innocence and admits to having sexual encounters with some of the massage therapists who are suing him, but the NFL will conduct its own investigation.

One of the alleged victims, Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement last week in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see that video here.

Woman drops sexual assault lawsuit against Deshaun Watson over privacy concerns

Deshaun Watson

A judge ruled last week that most of the women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson must reveal their identities in their suits, and at least one of the alleged victims will not be moving forward because of that decision.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, one of the women who had previously sued Watson under the pseudonym Jane Doe has dropped her suit. She cited “privacy and security concerns” and indicated she may refile the lawsuit at a later date.

There was a report earlier in the week that a woman had dropped her lawsuit against Watson, and it sounds like this could be the same person. TMZ notes that the total amount of lawsuits is now back down to 22 after another massage therapist, Erica Chapman, filed one this week.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Deshaun Watson gets one accuser to drop lawsuit

Deshaun Watson

One of the women who was accusing Deshaun Watson of sexual assault has dropped her lawsuit.

Watson’s attorney Rustin Hardin provided an update on the case to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. He says they have the names of 20 of the 22 women. One woman has dropped her suit, and they are seeking the name of one other accuser.

Watson’s legal team got a legal victory when it was ruled that the women had to be identified. That apparently has led him to begin discussions with the accusers.

Legal cases can often be settled outside of court, typically through an amount of money and other terms agreed upon between the parties. It’s unclear what led the one woman to drop her suit.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Texans appear to begin distancing themselves from Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans have said numerous times this offseason that they are not trading Deshaun Watson and expect him to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. Of course, all of those public endorsements came before 22 women accused Watson of sexual assault. Now, the team appears to be distancing itself from the quarterback.

Rivers McCown noticed on Sunday that the Texans have removed Watson entirely from the introduction to their in-house TV show, “Texans 360.”

We highly doubt that is a coincidence.

Watson has maintained his innocence, though his legal team did admit last week that the 25-year-old had consensual sexual relationships with some of his masseuses.

The identities of at least a dozen women who have accused Watson of sexual assault will soon be revealed. Nine of the alleged victims have volunteered to publicly reveal their identities, and several others will have to due to a court ruling on Friday.

One of the alleged victims, Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement this week in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see that video here.

Watson had demanded a trade before any of the sexual assault allegations came to light. It seems highly likely that he will be suspended for at least some of the 2021 season, which complicates the situation.