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Deshaun Watson shared a series of videos to his social media last week suggesting he’s ready to play football this season, and court records support his optimism.
The Houston Texans quarterback faces 22 civil lawsuits, but court records show the timeline of the litigation won’t interfere with his football career until the season has ended.
The “agreed docket control order” in the cases — a timeline of dates and deadlines that the parties have agreed upon and which was signed by the presiding judge on May 10 — shows that Watson’s sworn deposition won’t be taken before February 22, 2022.
“Plaintiffs may begin oral depositions, except for the deposition of the Defendant [Watson], which cannot occur before February 22, 2022,” the court record reads.
The NFL season is set to kickoff on Sept. 9, and the regular season will end on Jan. 9, 2022 with the Super Bowl slated for Feb. 13, 2022.
OutKick obtained the court record from Watson’s legal camp on Sunday.
While no specific trial date has been set, records show the pre-trial discovery process ends on March 25, 2022.
The pre-trial status conference — during which the trial date likely will be set — is scheduled for May 2, 2022.
A settlement in the 22 civil suits could happen at any time, although Watson’s camp said no settlement negotiations were being conducted as of last week. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could also use the “Commissioner Exempt List” and place Watson on paid leave for violating the Personal Conduct Policy.
OutKick’s Matt Loede reports the chatter around the possibility of Watson being traded this offseason prior to the start of camp. It remains one of the hot topics around the NFL.
“Three teams that repeatedly came up in conversations with multiple executives were the Washington Football Team and Las Vegas Raiders, and Miami Dolphins as potential destinations for Watson,” FanSided’s Matt Lombardo said.
To read more of OutKick’s coverage on this topic, click here.