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#pounditThursday, August 5, 2021

Football

Texans still do not want to trade Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

Are the Houston Texans still playing hardball when it comes to a Deshaun Watson trade? It sounds like that is the case.

FOX’s Jay Glazer reported on the network’s pregame show on Thursday that the Texans are not returning calls from teams inquiring about a Watson trade. He further says the team still thinks they will be able to convince Watson to play for them.

“They’re in a standstill because the Texans still think that Deshaun Watson’s going to end up wanting to play for them this year. … All the teams that have been trying to reach out to Deshaun Watson, they’re not calling any of them back,” Glazer reported.

This report runs contrary to a report on Wednesday that suggested talks were heating up between the Texans and Eagles.

Watson is 25 and so talented that teams are interested in trading for him despite the numerous sexual assault allegations he is facing. The NFL still has not handed out any discipline for Watson regarding the case.

Watson passed for 4,823 yards and 33 touchdowns last season.

Video: Jimmy Johnson zings Jerry Jones after Cowboys Ring of Honor announcement

Jimmy Johnson Jerry Jones

Jimmy Johnson zinged Jerry Jones after the Dallas Cowboys owner finally said he would put the team’s former coach into the Ring of Honor.

Johnson’s absence from the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor has been a major ongoing omission given that the 78-year-old rebuilt the Cowboys and won back-to-back Super Bowls with them. He is a big part of the reason why the team became so popular in the 1990s.

But Jones kept him out of the team’s Ring of Honor for several years, accusing Johnson of “disloyalty.” Johnson and Jones parted ways in 1994 after Jerry wanted a greater role in personnel decisions instead of allowing Johnson to continue being in charge.

Johnson went on to the Miami Dolphins a few years later, while Jones hired Barry Switzer as a replacement.

Johnson finally got the call last year that he would be making it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That induction came before recognition from the Cowboys.

But on FOX’s pregame show Thursday for the Hall of Fame Game, Jones finally said Johnson would make it into the team’s Ring of Honor.

Recognizing how long he had waited to be included, Johnson zinged Jones, asking if the honor would take place while he was still alive.

Jones admitted this year that he screwed things up with Johnson. Perhaps that admission was a sign Jones would be ready to induct Johnson into the Ring as he deserves.

Report: Police want to interview woman who made graphic Deshaun Watson allegations

Deshaun Watson

One of the women who claims she was sexually assaulted by Deshaun Watson shared disturbing details recently about her alleged interactions with the quarterback, and police want to speak with the massage therapist.

Nia Reese Lewis-Smith was a guest with YouTube personality Tasha K last week. She detailed how Watson reached out to her via a private message on Instagram and she gave him three massages. Lewis-Smith says she stopped working with Watson after his behavior became gradually more inappropriate. She initially felt pressure from the salon owner to continue working with the NFL star, but she says she finally had enough after Watson “blatantly asked me to have sex with him” during the third session.

According to CBS Sports Radio legal analyst Amy Dash, the Houston Police Department is seeking to interview Lewis-Smith.

Lewis-Smith is not one of the 22 women who has filed a civil lawsuit against Watson. She also is not among the 10 who have made formal complaints to the Houston Police. She said in her interview that she consulted with a lawyer but does not want to be involved anymore and has received death threats.

You can read more of the disturbing allegations from Lewis-Smith here.

Watson has not practiced over the past few days and is reportedly dealing with a minor injury. It’s possible his absence has something to do with the new allegations.

Robert Griffin III lands broadcasting job with ESPN

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III still wants to play in the NFL, but the quarterback has landed a broadcasting gig in the meantime.

Griffin has agreed to a deal with ESPN, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. His contract with the network includes an out that allows him to return to playing at any time.

RG3 has reportedly had multiple interviews with TV networks, and he has impressed executives. Two networks were said to be in a bidding war over him as of two months ago. ESPN apparently made the best offer.

It was previously reported that ESPN wanted to hire Griffin for both studio work and to serve as a color analyst for college games. He also may make appearances on shows throughout the week.

Griffin has expressed interest in serving as a mentor for one specific quarterback this season. He’s still just 31, so it is not out of the question that he will land a backup job in 2021. In the meantime, he has found a way to remain very visible.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

Jimmy Graham ‘confused’ after NFL ‘forced’ him to get vaccinated

Roger Goodell

The NFL Players Association released new guidance on Thursday for vaccinated individuals, and Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham seems frustrated by it.

In a new memo that was circulated, the NFLPA announced that COVID-19 testing will be increased for vaccinated players and staff members. The number of tiered staff allowed in the locker room is also being reduced. The release cited the fact that 32 players and staffers who are vaccinated have tested positive for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals will now be tested each day they enter their team’s facility.

Graham shared a copy of the new guidance on Twitter and said he is “confused” by it. The veteran says he was essentially “forced” into getting vaccinated to begin with.

Graham is not the first player to publicly criticize the NFL and NFLPA for their COVID-19 protocols. Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said recently that he did not want to get vaccinated but felt he was left with no choice.

The NFL played a full schedule of games last year after many called for the league to shorten the season or cancel it altogether. They’re aiming to do the same this year by any means necessary.

Eagles’ trade talks for Deshaun Watson heating up?

Deshaun Watson

The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that have had trade interest in Deshaun Watson, and those talks are heating up according to a report.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso reported on Wednesday about the status of trade talks between the Eagles and Houston Texans. He says things are heating up, though there are some hurdles.

The hurdles are more like mountains, as in the mountain of lawsuits Watson is facing for alleged sexual assault. The quarterback is facing 22 civil lawsuits for his alleged misconduct with multiple masseuses. 10 women reportedly have filed police complaints against him.

Watson was seeking a trade prior to the avalanche of lawsuits that were filed against him. He still wants a trade.

Giving up assets to acquire a quarterback who has not yet been disciplined by the league is risky for any team. But the Eagles, who have Jalen Hurts as their starter entering the season, may not be deterred. Hurts does not seem to be bothered by the rumors either.

Jameis Winston has funny comment about being manhandled in gauntlet

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston had a funny comment on Twitter after being mocked for his struggles with a tackling pad.

Winston was running through a gauntlet machine during the New Orleans Saints’ training camp practice on Wednesday. Let’s just say the gauntlet machine got the best of him.

Winston knew he was being mocked on Twitter over the funny video clip. He jumped in on the joke and acknowledged the pad got the best of him.

When you’re made to look silly look that, laughing about it is the best thing you can do.

Winston is competing with Taysom Hill to be the Saints’ starting quarterback. A recent report suggested Hill was in line to begin the season as the team’s starter.

Report: Sam Ehlinger generating buzz in Colts camp

Sam Ehlinger

The Indianapolis Colts are working through their situation at quarterback now that Carson Wentz is hurt, and a surprising name is making noise.

Jacob Eason was a fourth-round pick by the Colts in 2020 and currently their No. 1 QB with Wentz out. However, the Athletic’s Stephen Holder says that rookie Sam Ehlinger is generating buzz.

Ehlinger was a sixth-round pick by the Colts this year out of Texas. Holder says the former Longhorn “is off to a faster start than anticipated and has people within the organization buzzing.”

Holder believes that Ehlinger’s effort has placed in the starting quarterback mix.

Ehlinger was a dual-threat quarterback at Texas and rushed for 33 touchdowns during his college career. He is mobile but also had good passing stats, with 94 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. Eason is a big body and has a big arm, but he also was inconsistent and faced questions during his interviews.

Wentz is expected to miss 5-12 weeks due to foot surgery. That is a large gap in terms of a timeline, and the Colts are hoping the former Eagles QB will make it back sooner than later. In the meantime, Ehlinger is trying to take advantage.

Joe Burrow struggling badly at Bengals training camp

Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow said recently that he is close to 100 percent recovered from the torn ACL he suffered last season, but the former No. 1 overall pick has a lot of rust to shake off before Week 1.

The early reports from Cincinnati Bengals training camp have not been good for those on the offensive side of the ball. Jay Morrison and Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic shared some of their observations on Tuesday, and they said Burrow and the offense are committing multiple turnovers almost every practice session. Burrow has struggled to throw the ball downfield, and the way he has been playing makes the reporters wonder if he is nervous about getting hit near his surgically repaired knee.

While practice stats tend to mean very little, Burrow completed just 5-of-12 passes with an interception during the 11-on-11 portion of Tuesday’s session. He did not appear to be on the same page with wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Chase, of course, played college ball with Burrow at LSU.

Here’s more from The Athletic:

Throws that felt like layups last year are dropping harmlessly away from receivers or easily broken up by multiple defenders. There might be a multitude of reasons for the struggles, but this has been ugly. At one point, pressure pushed into his face and Burrow lifted his leg into the air almost to avoid any accident with the close pocket. It makes you wonder if the knee is still in his head, but that’s strictly guesswork. The bottom line is there’s no way to say his play looks comfortable at this point and this isn’t at all what you have seen from Burrow even in the early camp moments of last season.

Obviously, there is no need to panic. Burrow is still recovering from a major knee injury, and the regular season is five weeks away. Though, Burrow is making it somewhat difficult to believe what he said earlier this offseason about his connection with Chase.

All of the reports about Burrow’s knee injury to this point have been positive. Most quarterbacks who return from a torn ACL experience an adjustment period, so it’s better for Burrow to get his mistakes out of the way in July and August. Bengals fans may simply need to be patient when the regular season begins.

Massage therapist Nia Reese Lewis-Smith details disturbing allegations about Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson has been participating in training camp with the Houston Texans as he faces sexual assault allegations from 22 women. Now, one of the women who says she was sexually assaulted by Watson has shared some disturbing details about what she alleges took place between her and the NFL quarterback.

Nia Reese Lewis-Smith was a guest with YouTube personality Tasha K last week.

Lewis-Smith told Tasha K about her how things with Watson went. She says that Watson reached out to her via a private message on Instagram. She says she was initially confused that someone so famous would reach out. She also said she had no idea who he was or what sport the Houston Texans played.

Lewis-Smith gave Watson three massages but stopped after his behavior became gradually more inappropriate. She says for the first massage, the salon was specially opened on a Sunday for him. She says Watson asked her to focus specifically on his glutes for this massage.

“Things kind of went weird,” Lewis-Smith said of the appointment.

“The only thing that really bothered me in the first appointment is he kept asking me to go inside his b-tt,” Lewis-Smith said, as transcribed by BSO.

Lewis-Smith says Watson’s request was unusual, because most of her male clients ask her to stop just above the thigh. That wasn’t the case with Watson.

“I originally thought it was the crack, so I would go around that area, and he still wasn’t satisfied. He was very adamant and was saying ‘don’t be afraid to go inside.’”

Lewis-Smith says that she told the salon owner immediately how bizarre the appointment was. She still was willing to give Watson the benefit of the doubt and chalked up his behavior to an unusual preference.

However, she says the second appointment changed her stance.

“The second appoint was just really inappropriate. He was very touchy-feely. He would act like he accidentally brushed up against my b-tt. Like, if I would be on the side of his neck, or if I’d be at the front of the massage table, he would reach his hands up and act like he was accidentally brushing up against me.”

Lewis-Smith says she had to massage him from a distance that time because he kept trying to touch her.

Lewis-Smith says that Watson wanted to focus solely on his groin and rear for the second appointment. He also asked if Lewis-Smith if she wanted to put his penis in her mouth.

“It was just very very very uncomfortable. I’m trying to be professional but get through this hour-long massage without any conflict.”

Lewis-Smith says she felt pressure from the salon owner to keep Watson happy as a client because she was proud to have him as a client.

“There came a time when he would be erect the entire time. He had precum coming out of his penis and it was all over his stomach. He kept trying to get me to rub all over that area or make me touch it.”

“It was just the most uncomfortable time in my life. It just seemed like the hour was taking so long. I remember cutting the massage short by 15 minutes and pretending like it was a full hour. It was just really weird,” Lewis-Smith recalled.

Lewis-Smith said she would push his hands out of the way to indicate his advances and behavior was inappropriate. She says he would innocently say “what?” after each time she pushed his hands away. Lewis-Smith says she felt very taken advantage of.

Despite the first two massages being problematic, Lewis-Smith massaged Watson a third time. She felt pressure from the salon owner to make Watson happy as a client. Lewis-Smith described the business owner as being infatuated with having Watson as a client. She says she felt like she couldn’t refuse him as a client because of pressure from the owner.

“The third session, he blatantly asked me to have sex with him. He kept requesting sex from me. He kept trying to touch me between my legs and he did touch me between my legs. He wouldn’t keep his hands to himself. Eventually I had to decide that would be the last time I would massage him, against everybody’s wishes.”

Lewis-Smith says she refused to continue working for the salon once the owner didn’t support her.

Lewis-Smith says a family member sent her an article saying that Watson was being sued. She says that after reading the story, what stood out to her was the specific detail from the allegation saying Watson sought attention for his rear. That made Lewis-Smith feel validated about her experience.

She says that because she hadn’t filed a lawsuit, one of Watson’s attorneys reached out to her seeking a meeting. She met with the attorney, thinking that someone finally wanted to hear her side. Instead, she eventually realized the attorney was just trying to get information from her. Lewis-Smith says she began receiving death threats shortly after that meeting.

Lewis-Smith has consulted with a lawyer but has not filed a suit because she doesn’t want to be involved in the situation any longer. She believes it will negatively affect her life and drag on for years, with people bashing her name, and her possibly facing more threats.

In addition to the 22 civil lawsuits Watson is facing, 10 women have made formal complaints to Houston Police about Watson.