When the Houston Texans sacked Desaron Watson for 3 weeks even after Tyrode Taylor’s injury, it became clear that he would never play for that franchise again. Now, it looks like Watson will not play Snap for any NFL team in 2021.
Watson is currently being investigated by the FBI, the Houston Police Department, the NFL and is facing a grand jury investigation. With 22 civil cases and 10 criminal charges against Watson for sexual harassment and misconduct, there is great uncertainty about his immediate future.
The 2-year-old claimed the first trade in January, a few months before charges were filed against him. Gradually the Texans refused to transfer him before the idea became more acceptable. Even as more complainants came forward and Houston realized it was time to move on from Watson, the asking price of the Texans did not change.
At one point, the Miami Dolphins apparently came close to Watson landing this summer. But the Texans refused to accept the conditional election, demanding a mandatory condition in light of legal issues. Houston did not back down, the talks closed.
- Deshaun Watson’s Statistics (2020): 4,823 passing yards, total 36 touchdowns, 112.4 passer rating, 70.2% completion
Now that the NFL season is underway, with Watson spending every week on the inactive list, the chatter is over. But NFL insider Albert Brayer answered a question about Watson in a recent mailbag. Asked if Watson would play again, Brayer said he would play but it may not be until 2022.
“Now, I don’t want to belittle others, there are a lot more serious legal issues at hand. But from a football standpoint, I think it’s pretty clear that the Texans are comfortable where they are now, and it’s okay to hang out with Watson for the rest of the year.
Why Watson will not return in 2021
So far, there is no reason to believe the Watson trade is imminent. The Texans don’t want to sell less to a player with MVP-caliber talent in the first year of rebuilding, and first-year general manager Nick Caserio.
But it puts the Texans in a difficult position. If they do not remove Watson during the investigation, the franchise runs the risk of potentially convicting him and possibly ending his NFL career. Watson has not only faced more than 20 allegations, but other women have shared stories of his alleged sexual misconduct.
Watson is cooperating with the FBI and criminal investigations, talking to law enforcement and providing necessary information or communication. But with the League’s investigation largely suspended, Commissioner Roger Goodell does not want to interfere in criminal activity.
Since the Texans don’t want to risk Watson getting hurt while playing and he’s happy to never play for the franchise again, there’s no need to use the commissioner’s waiver list. Watson is still paid and out of the spotlight.
But if another team trades for Watson, it could put pressure on the league to do something. With that uncertainty, other clubs don’t want to risk gaining him and then lose him immediately. So, everyone is waiting for the transparency of the criminal investigation.
Considering Watson will not appear in court for a civil case until next year and the criminal investigation could take months, there is a small window for a trade to take place. The NFL trade deadline is November 2, and a resolution seemingly months away, making a deal increasingly questionable.