Buzbee Calls Out NFL's Handling of Deshaun Watson Case; Says Settlement Won't Happen

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 03: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans participates in warmups prior to a game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 22 women who have filed civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault or misconduct against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, said Wednesday there will be no settlements in the cases.

Speaking to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston, Buzbee was also critical of how the NFL has handled its investigation into Watson thus far.

Buzbee said four of his clients have met with NFL chief investigator Lisa Friel and added, "Some of the women did not feel like they were being respected."

The attorney also said there are "probably four more women" who want to meet with the NFL, but he is unsure if he will allow the meetings to take place.

Per ESPN's Sarah Barshop, all of the lawsuits have been filed since March 16, with the most recent one being filed April 2. In that suit, a licensed aesthetician said Watson exposed himself and touched her with his penis. She also said Watson made her sign a non-disclosure agreement before paying her for the massage she provided.

Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, filed a response to the lawsuit April 19, writing: "These range from being misleading, to fraudulent, to slanderous. Importantly, only two of the 22 lawsuits allege that Mr. Watson forced any type of sexual activity—an allegation Mr. Watson again vehemently denies."

The 25-year-old Watson is set to enter his fifth NFL season in 2021, but there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding his status.

In addition to the allegations against him and the notion that he could face discipline from the NFL, Watson has expressed a desire to no longer play for the Texans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t Barshop) reported in January that Watson asked the Texans to trade him. Watson reportedly took issue with the fact that the Texans hired Nick Caserio as their general manager without taking his input into account.

Watson, who starred collegiately at Clemson before going 12th overall to the Texans in the 2017 NFL draft, is a three-time Pro Bowler in four NFL seasons.

He posted a losing record as a starter for the first time last season, going just 4-12, but Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and also completed 70.2 percent of his passes with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.