Houston Texans Still Paying For Deshaun Watson Mistakes, Lose Draft Pick Over ‘Salary Cap Reporting Violation’

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The Houston Texans continue to be plagued by their former employment of quarterback Deshaun Watson and his improper conduct. The NFL punished the team by forcing them to forfeit a fifth-round pick and fined the organization $175,000.

According to the league, the Texans provided Watson money for an athletic club membership. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams must disclose benefits of this kind.

“Pursuant to the salary cap requirements in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs must report any player compensation or benefit,” the NFL said in a statement.

“Following a review, the NFL determined that the club provided then Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson with undisclosed compensation in the form of a membership at an alternative athletic facility in 2020.”

The benefit in question is with regards to Watson’s membership at a place called “The Houstonian.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the facility Watson allegedly used to set up appointments with massage therapists.

The Texans issued a statement saying that they disagree with the league’s ruling, but will not fight the imposed discipline.

“During the 2020 league year and while its facilities were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the club absorbed $26,777 in costs for player benefits for the use of alternate athletic facilities, which it understands should have been charged instead to player salaries,” the statement reads.

“The club has fully cooperated with the league in its investigation of these matters and maintains that it had no intention to circumvent any salary cap rules or gain any sort of competitive advantage. While we disagree with the league’s ruling, we will accept the imposed discipline and move forward.”

Houston Texans continue to pay for Deshaun Watson mistakes

Just when the team thinks they’ve moved on from Watson, more problems come from the league.

The Texans traded Watson to the Cleveland Browns almost exactly one year ago. Yet the fallout for employing — and allegedly “enabling” — a player accused of sexual misconduct by over 20 women continues.

HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 04: Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a short pass to the flat to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (11) during early second half action during the football game between the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Despite his past, the Browns awarded Watson the highest guaranteed-money contact in NFL history.

Watson played five games in 2022 and didn’t play particularly well, either.

Thanks to that contract, I believe Lamar Jackson is paying a price.

Deshaun Watson — the gift that keeps on giving.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.


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  1. IMO, this is just the NFL going light on the Texans for providing hotel rooms for Deshaun’s “business”. A lot of things about the story, timing w/covid don’t add up. The hotel named in the lawsuits against the Texans does have a gym, so it a convenient alibi for those who don’t know. If the NFL really cared about all those ladies and were really upset about what the Texans did, they would have taken a first-round draft pick at minimum away from them. So far, the Texans have gotten off lightly!

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