In recent weeks the headlines surrounding Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and his ongoing legal battles have gone cold.
However, in an appearance on NFL Network on Monday, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport provided insight into the situation, and more specifically into Houston's current stance regarding its troubled star.
"Obviously, the criminal investigation is ongoing and it doesn't sound, based on my knowledge, that the Texans have made any move toward trading him at all," said Rapoport.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with this situation. Since the moment Watson requested a trade in January, followed by revelations of his alleged numerous sexual assaults coming to light, the Texans have not once indicated - in public - that they have any intention to trade Watson.
The fact that they remain seemingly steadfast in their public position that he will remain a Texan moving forward was to be expected. Trading him at this point would be risky, in that it would selling low. Until Watson's civil lawsuits and legal entanglements are resolved, teams will undoubtedly be reluctant swap a treasure chest for a player whose future - on and off the field - is murky.
But that doesn't mean NFL teams have stopped watching.
We know about the Philadelphia Eagles' interest in Watson.
We know about Watson's alleged interest in the Denver Broncos.
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And now comes a new report about rejuvenated interest in Miami. Writes Pro Football Network: "We’re told the Dolphins have enough lingering questions about Tua’s ability and future that they would still consider trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson if his legal situation is somehow resolved in time for the 2021 season. That, of course, is an enormous if.''
Watson stands accused of sexual misconduct by nearly two dozen massage therapists who are suing him.
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As such, if Houston were to push for a trade, it likely wouldn't get anywhere near the same value for their No. 1 asset as they it left the drama play itself out.
And in terms of a potential settlement involving the 22 lawsuits, it doesn't seem like that's on the horizon any time soon.
"There's been no movement toward any potential settlement," said Rapoport. "I know both lawyers have come out and said they really have a fundamental disagreement as far as a settlement. Obviously, Deshaun Watson's people want everything to be public, the opposing attorney Tony Buzbee wants it to be completely private. And unless they agree on that I don't see any settlement happening any time soon."
Essentially this all confirms what we already knew. Both Watson and the accusers' camps are digging their heels in. And until that has cleared up, there is no reason to believe the Texans will make any decision either way.
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