Twenty-two sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson be damned. The NFL just wants to find the best quarterback to plug under center to win games.
Multiple reports say that teams won’t let the pending civil cases deter them from acquiring Watson, as long as the criminal situation is resolved. Watson, 26, has continued to deny the allegations and sat out the entirety of the 2021 season, seeking a trade from Houston.
Per Larry Brown Sports, Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said Monday in open court that he’s optimistic the grand jury will make a decision on whether Watson will be charged by April 1.
Regardless of what happens in court, the NFL will conduct its own investigation after the grand jury reaches a decision. It’s possible Watson would receive punishment from the NFL, which could include a suspension.
Despite the uncertainty, one thing that has remained constant is the Texans’ asking price. The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported Tuesday that Houston doesn’t plan to lessen its asking price of five to seven assets, including three first-round picks. Though that’s a lot of capital for a guy whose legal issues haven’t been resolved, reports have suggested that the Buccaneers and Vikings have already started to kick the tires on a potential trade.
His contract presents its own challenges as well, as Watson’s four-year, $156 million contract will begin in 2022. The contract includes an opt-out after the 2023 season.
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