What Will NFL Do With Texans QB Deshaun Watson?

Goodell stands accused, over the years, of applying different standards in different cases. What will he do about Deshaun Watson?
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It has been commonly suggested that trade-desirous Deshaun Watson and his Houston Texans employers would reach a "crossroads'' of sorts as the end-of-April NFL Draft approaches.

But then it became about the lawyers, their media statements and their possible litigation in the wake of a flood of sexual-misconduct charges against the star QB.

And suddenly, this is no longer just about the attorneys and the alleged victims and the accused who claims innocence, as all-important as it is that they be heard.

Nor is this any longer just about Watson's broken relationship with a franchise he feels lied to him, or new leaders of the franchise who had nothing to do with the betrayal.

Nor is this any longer just about the bidding NFL teams who surely still want to acquire Watson ... as long as he remains eligible to play.

And finally, nor is it about that eligibility as it relates to the Houston Police Department announcing that they will be investigating a complaint that has been filed accusing Watson.

As our insightful colleague from Yahoo, Charles Robinson points out, this is also now about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Writes Robinson: 

"The bottom line? If Watson wasn’t part of a police probe, the demand on the NFL to do something about his roster status in the wake of the (charges) was mitigated. That changed significantly on Friday, when the Houston Police Department announced a complaint had been officially filed with authorities regarding Watson.''

The updated issues, Robinson writes, "now place NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at a crossroads. He now must process a growing collection of allegations and investigations into Watson, which draws a spotlight to how Goodell picks and chooses the players and incidents he believes warrant invoking Commissioner’s Exempt List status.''

Robinson words this cleverly and accurately. The "pick-and-choose'' nature of Goodell's history in this department - non-suspensions for players who have admitted guilt, suspensions for other players who have never been found guilty, and even the use of the exempt list - as Robinson writes, "essentially a form of paid leave for players'' - are all available to the commissioner, at his discretion, per the CBA.

Goodell stands accused, over the years, of applying different standards in different cases. Now, just around the corner is more lawyer decisions, more trade decisions, more draft decisions, more police decisions and then NFL team activities.

Looming large, from a more-than-just-football sense: Roger Goodell decisions.

READ MORE: Deshaun Watson Trade Talk - And QB Alex Smith To Houston?