Report: Insiders Think Deshaun Watson's Season Will Be Interrupted Amid Lawsuits

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

ARCHIVO - En esta fotografía de archivo del 3 de enero de 2021, el quarterback de los Texans de Houston, Deshaun Watson, se retira de la cancha antes del partido de la NFL contra los Titans de Tennessee en Houston. (AP Foto/Eric Christian Smith, Archivo)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

People in the NFL reportedly expect Deshaun Watson's 2021 season to be interrupted in some fashion while the quarterback is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual assault or misconduct. 

"I think most people around the NFL believe Deshaun Watson's season this year will be interrupted by either trials or a suspension or both...I think his 2021 season is a washout," Peter King of NBC Sports said Tuesday on The Rich Eisen Show.

Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow

"I think most people around the #NFL believe (his) season this year will be interrupted." It's been quiet on the Deshaun Watson front of late but @peter_king told us what's being privately discussed across the league regarding the #Texans QB: https://t.co/FpZveCjtXM

All of the women said in the filings they were hired by Watson to perform a massage. Allegations from the lawsuits include Watson touching the women with his penis, attempts of coercion into sexual acts and forced oral sex. 

Watson has denied any wrongdoing, with attorney Rusty Hardin saying any sexual acts performed by the women were consensual. 

"Our first [statement] has always been about consent—that on some occasions some active sexual activity would have taken place. ... I'm not going to go into what it is or the nature [of the physical contact] or the numbers or with whom. But I think you can rightfully assume that," Hardin told reporters in April. 

"The question always that we have always been emphasizing is never at any time, under any circumstances did this young man engage in anything that was not mutually desired by the other party."

Watson previously requested a trade from the Texans earlier this offseason. King noted that teams have completely backed away from trade talks since the allegations became public.

The NFL is investigating Watson under its Personal Conduct Policy, and Houston police are looking into a criminal complaint. It is possible that Watson will be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List this season, which would allow Watson to retain his salary but bar him from participating in any team activities.

The Texans have prepared themselves for a future without Watson, signing Tyrod Taylor to a one-year contract and drafting Davis Mills as a potential long-term replacement.