Report: Deshaun Watson Criminal Inquiry Unlikely to Be Finished by NFL Trade Deadline

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 16, 2021

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) practices with the team during NFL football practice Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
AP Photo/Justin Rex

The criminal inquiry into the accusations of sexual assault and misconduct that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing is reportedly unlikely to be finished prior to the NFL's trade deadline on Nov. 2, per A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports.

Perez reported the grand jury is yet to see the prosecutors' case in full.

What's more, the league is unlikely to finish its own investigation and institute any type of punishment until the grand jury makes a decision. "The outcome of the criminal investigation will weigh heavily on the NFL's decision on whether to punish Watson," Perez wrote.

Despite the uncertainty of the timeline, Perez also reported at least four teams are interested in a potential trade with one apparently willing to make a deal before the criminal case is decided.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported in August the Miami Dolphins "emerged as the frontrunner in trade discussions," and Houston wanted three first-round picks and two second-round picks.

Robinson provided additional context to the discussions:

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

Sources said teams have angled for pick protections in any trade, to mitigate a potential <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> suspension or criminal prosecution tied to ongoing investigations by the FBI, Harris County prosecutor and Houston PD, into sexual assault allegations from multiple women.

Watson is facing 22 lawsuits that "accuse him of a range of actions during massage appointments over the past year, from refusing to cover his genitals to forced oral sex," per ESPN.

An additional two women who were not among those who filed civil suits were included in the 10 women who have filed formal complaints against Watson with Houston police.

While Watson is still on the Texans' 53-man active roster, the AFC South team did not play him in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and listed him as out with a "Not Injury Related" designation.

Tyrod Taylor led Houston to a 37-21 victory.