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Report: Deshaun Watson Spoke to Leonard Fournette, Jarvis Landry About Joining Falcons

Editors note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org

Before electing to get traded to the Browns, Deshaun Watson was reportedly close to choosing the Falcons. At one point, he corresponded with running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Jarvis Landry about possibly joining forces in Atlanta, according to ESPN. The correspondence possibly happened via FaceTime. 

The Falcons were confident they’d land Watson in a trade, and the signal-caller was eager to join the team, per ESPN. But Cleveland’s offer of a fully guaranteed five-year deal worth $230 million was too good for Watson to pass up.

Fournette eventually elected to return to the Buccaneers and Landry, who was just released by the Browns, is currently a free agent.

Watson still faces 22 active civil lawsuits that include graphic accounts of sexual harassment and assault. The accounts range from Watson allegedly refusing to cover his genitals to forcing women to put his penis in their mouths.

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A grand jury recently returned nine “no” bills on nine criminal complaints against Watson, and a Harris County prosecutor said it concluded the criminal proceedings against him. The same day the grand jury returned the bills, Watson reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment when being deposed in the civil suits hearing. But he reportedly answered questions under oath several days after the criminal proceedings concluded.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot addressed the reports connecting the team to Atlanta, but said they were just “exploring” a trade. He added, “There were a lot of layers,” to the trade talks, per NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano. 

Fontenot also said the team conducted research into the situation, but Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the 22 women who are suing Watson, said not a single NFL team reached out to him prior to Watson being traded to Cleveland. 

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