The Houston Texans traded quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns in March. The move was considered a win-win, as both parties are getting a fresh start amidst Watson battling sexual misconduct allegations from as many as 66 women. Those allegations began to fester when Watson originally asked the Texans to trade him following the 2020-21 season.
Due to the allegations hanging over his head, Watson didn’t sniff the field at all in 2021. While he won’t be criminally charged, he’s still awaiting the NFL’s decision on what level of punishment he will receive. Reports have varied from four to six games to an entire season to indefinitely.
Watson recently chose to pay 20 of the 24 alleged victims at the recommendation of his attorney Rusty Hardin.
Attorney for the alleged victims Tony Buzbee also sued the Texans franchise. The Texans wasted no time in settling amicably with the women. In fact, here’s what the owners of the team, the McNair family, had to say via press release.
“We were shocked and deeply saddened when we first learned of the allegations against our then franchise quarterback in 2021. Although our organization did not have any knowledge of Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct, we have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter amicably. This is not an admission of any wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault or misconduct.
We hope that today’s resolution will provide some form of closure to the parties involved, our fans and the Houston community at large. As an organization, we will now turn our focus to the future and doing what we can to ensure respect for all.”
The Texans are trying to steer clear of any of the drama that’s surrounding this unfortunate situation. Now that Watson’s been traded they want nothing to do with him or this case, so they settled with the 30 women.
Watson Still Faces Four Women That Refuse To Settle
The four women who refused to settle will have their day in court with the player currently with the highest fully guaranteed contract (five years, $230M) in NFL history.
Buzbee has this to say about those aforementioned cases.
“The four field cases against Deshaun Watson will continue. We hope to try them in the spring of next year. In the meantime, we will continue to do the important work to prepare for such.”
Watson and his attorney have maintained that some form of consensual sexual activity may have occurred with some of the alleged victims, and none against their will. Some believe that Hardin making “happy ending” references on the radio and saying it isn’t a crime wasn’t the smartest move for an attorney.
Will Watson See Field In 2022?
There have been varying opinions on whether Watson will see the field in 2022. As of now, no one knows what the NFL’s decision will be. Some even suggested that the Browns could undo the trade, sending Watson back to the Texans.
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) July 1, 2022
Texans GM Nick Caseros dismissed that notion during a radio interview in mid-June. He says, for good or bad, the trade is final.
“No different than a draft day trade,” Caseros said. “Even though it kind of happens more in real time. You have an agreement in place, OK, you contact the league. Or we have a trade, we have an agreement, send the paperwork along, and everybody goes on their merry way. Unless I’m missing something, or unless you call Goodell and ask him for interpretation and opinion, I would say whatever trades have happened in the past, and now we’re just focused on training camp and moving forward with the team.”
The saga continues for Deshaun Watson.