It is the assertion of Rusty Hardin, the attorney representing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in the 22 civil lawsuits alleging acts of sexual assault and misconduct, that the attorney representing the plaintiffs, Tony Buzbee, has reached out to discuss settlements.
Buzbee has denied this claim, countering by saying it was Hardin's side that reached out.
But ESPN says it has reviewed text messages and a recording that demonstrate that somebody representing Buzbee's side did indeed contacted Hardin's team "to discuss 'working things out" between the star QB and his alleged victims.
This news has done little to curtail the public jousting between the two attorneys, each claiming the other is responsible for the "reach out,'' and each insisting that they simple will not settle.
One of Buzbee's latest claims also indicts the NFL itself, as the attorney suggests some of his clients, after being interviewed by league representatives, "did not feel like they were being respected" by the NFL in those conversation.
It is Hardin's position "all 22 plaintiffs are lying about the allegations of sexual misconduct'' against Watson, who has denied all wrongdoing.
Before this legal entanglement, Watson requested a trade out of Houston. With Watson's status with the courts, law-enforcement officials and the NFL itself in limbo, the Texans have made a series of moves at QB, including the signing of Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Driskel and the drafting of third-round Stanford product Davis Mills.