HOUSTON -- As if this offseason needed more twist and turns, here comes the biggest one of all for the Houston Texans.
According to league sources, quarterback Deshaun Watson will return to camp this week for the start of 2021 season. However, Watson has kept his stance very clear that he would like a trade from the organization.
Watson, 25, is still facing legal battles as he currently has 22 civil cases against his name for sexual misconduct and sexual assault. The NFL back in April announced it would be doing its own investigation to see if his actions were against the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to rule on Watson's status for the 2021 season. Therefore, Watson still can return to all activities with the team until further notice.
For those wondering if this means there's peace between both Watson and the new front office, that likely isn't the case. Watson has been hellbent on leaving the city since January. The team likely would have moved him at the 2021 NFL draft for multiple high-end selections if his name would have been cleared of all charges.
For now, this feels like Watson will show for to avoid the league's standing with players missing camp.
For each practice the Texans quarterback would miss, the league would fine him $50,000 per day.
Watson currently having to pay for his legal battles and fees to his own lawyers. With Tony Buzbee and Rusty Hardin both agreeing that a settlement wouldn't be an option, this likely will head to court at the beginning of the 2022 calendar.
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Could something be fixed between the two sides? Possibly, but Watson would have to meet in the middle. Even if Watson is still asking for a trade, the Texan should be patient until the NFL makes ruling.
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What is his value on the trade market now? Who knows. What will it be if he isn't suspended? Perhaps even higher than when he asked for the trade back in February.
Watson is coming off his best season in the NFL. Last year, he led the league with 4,823 passing yards. He also threw a franchise record for 33 touchdowns in a single season and have a quarterback rating of 112.4.
Anything can happen, including a settlement between Watson and the Texans. For now, it'll all be based off camp. The plan will be for Nick Caserio and David Culley to convince him that his future is our best with the organization.
Watson also signed a four-year, $156 million extension back in September 2020. He enters the final year of his rookie contract, but will be under the Texans control until 2025.
Maybe this is nothing more than just Watson showing up for a payday. This is the chance for Houston to prove they are all in on their franchise quarterback. Either way, Watson's status with the team for the official start of camp was the biggest storyline.
And now, it's even bigger than before.
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