Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said Monday the team is taking the allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct made by multiple women against quarterback Deshaun Watson "very seriously."
Caserio was asked about the situation during an appearance on the Texans All Access podcast:
Rivers McCown @riversmccown
Texans GM Nick Caserio on Deshaun Watson situation: "It's a legal process ... We certainly take them very seriously. The allegations, what's been discussed, are certainly troubling. Organizationally that's not something that we can condone ... those types of actions." https://t.co/rdkfieeLda
Houston attorney Tony Buzbee has filed 19 lawsuits against Watson on behalf of women accusing him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions. The Texans quarterback denied the allegations, and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said any report Watson forcibly initiated sexual contact is "completely false."
On Monday, Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated published a story containing allegations of sexual misconduct by Watson toward a Houston-area massage therapist not represented by Buzzbee. The woman told Vrentas that Watson removed the towel covering him during the massage and then later made a suggestion she touch his penis.
"The NFL informed us today that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson. We will stay in close contact with the league as they do.
"We continue to take this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We do not anticipate making any additional statements until the NFL's investigation concludes."
An NFL spokesperson told Ben Shpigel of the New York Times the situation was under review as part of the league's personal conduct policy. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell holds the power to punish players under the policy regardless of the outcome of the criminal or civil cases against them.
Watson requested a trade from the Texans earlier in the offseason, and Caserio explained after he was hired in January the organization had no plans to move the quarterback.
"And, you know, we have zero interest in trading the player," Caserio said. "We have a great plan, a great vision for him and for this team and his role on our team. We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring."
Watson has spent the first four professional seasons in Houston after being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson.