Teams have reportedly "removed themselves" from discussions about trading for Deshaun Watson amid allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the Houston Texans quarterback.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported teams would like "clarity" from the situation before deciding whether to proceed with any potential trade. More than 20 women have filed lawsuits against Watson, alleging acts such as unwanted sexual advances and forced oral sex.
Watson requested a trade from the Texans this offseason, citing frustration with team management. The Texans held onto Watson despite his request, and their franchise quarterback is now in a position where his NFL future is in jeopardy.
The Houston Police Department is currently investigating two complaints against Watson. A woman who filed one of the reports, Ashley Solis, held a press conference last week and said Watson has caused her to suffer from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
"I know a lot of you are probably wondering who I was, or if I even existed. I’m not afraid anymore,” Solis said. "People say that I’m doing this just for money. That is false. I’ve come forward now so Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman.”
Several corporate sponsors, including Nike and Beats by Dre, terminated or suspended their relationship with Watson in wake of Solis' public comments. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy called the allegations "deeply disturbing" last week and said the league is investigating Watson for violation of its personal conduct policy.
It is possible that the NFL will place Watson on the Commissioner's Exempt List if the investigations, both by the league and police, continue into training camp or later.