Deshaun Watson remains part of Texans despite career being in limbo

With the NFL season underway, fans are wondering how the situation surrounding Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson will unfold. Since the first lawsuit in March 2021, a number of women have since come forth with more accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment from Watson during regular massage visits. 

The once-touted franchise quarterback currently faces more than 20 civil lawsuits. Ten of the criminal complaints were filed directly to the Houston Police Department.  HPD, NFL, and legal teams seem to be working on the case, while the public closely awaits information as to how the situation will be handled. For the time being, the Texans quarterback has lost more than $8 million in endorsement deals. Brands like Nike and Beats by Dre terminated their contracts with Watson after allegations arose. Sources say that he is currently “cooperating fully” with both the police department and district attorney offices who are moving forward with the case. Watson’s attorneys stated “some sexual activity” occurred during Watson’s visits, but he never enforced anything.

While the NFL has since launched its own investigation against Watson, the league has yet to fully speak out on the case. Commissioner Roger Goodell went as far as to call the situation “concerning” in a brief interview during the 2021 NFL Draft. Almost everyone involved in the case is in a state of limbo at the moment until any further details arise. Watson has been, and more than likely, will continue to be listed as inactive, and it is rumored that he will not start for the Texans or any other team for the remainder of the 2021 season.

Trade speculation around the league remained stagnant during much of the offseason due to the quarterback’s uncertain future. Texans general manager Nick Caserio said that there aren’t any plans to change the situation going forward with Watson and that they are prepared to continue to list him under the 53 man roster and handle the situation on a day to day basis. 

Two of the 22 accusers have publicly stated their frustration with the NFL over controversial questioning during their own investigation regarding the choice of clothing during sessions with the defendant. Although the league is waiting for a clear conclusion to decide on Watson’s fate, the number of allegations that have surfaced is alarming and a situation that cannot continue to lag in disclosure. For now, there are some options, but none have yet to develop clearly. Watson could be shipped to a different team, but that would require some sort of clearance from the case. Due to state law, Watson could still face criminal charges for indecent assault as the state of the incident would meet the criteria. Ultimately, Watson could reach some sort of settlement, but these would likely be undisclosed, and not much light would be shed.