A longtime NFL Insider does not feel good about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s ability to play this coming season and maybe next season as well.
NFL Insider John Clayton’s concern comes from the fact nothing has been resolved in the 22 civil lawsuits against the former Clemson quarterback for sexual assault, and it does not appear it is going to happen anytime soon.
If that is the case, he points out it is unlikely Watson will play this season and 2022 could be up in the air too.
“As has been reported, Watson won’t be deposed until Feb. 22, 2022,” Clayton writes. “The court systems in Houston are so slow that the next step won’t happen until right after the Super Bowl. Ben Maller (of FOX Sports) projects that trials won’t start until May of 2022. Even though Watson could try to look to settle the cases, his attorney says that won’t happen. The cases could go through June and July of next year.”
Another wrinkle to all of this is the fact Watson wants to be traded, but until his law disputes are settled, he is not likely to be traded. NFL teams will first want to see what the NFL decides before trading for the 25-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback.
“Here is the important point,” Clayton continues. “Watson could go on the commissioner’s exempt list this season, but he will receive his full salary. He’s scheduled to make $10.540 million this year and he gets paid for each game he’s on the exempt list. The Texans could fine him for missing training camp, but they can’t void the guarantees until his contract until he gets a ruling and if that doesn’t happen until next July, he will effectively be on paid leave.”