Citing the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports has alleged the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins have agreed to the terms of a trade that would send embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Dolphins for an unknown compensation package many believe to include at least three first round picks and perhaps more
The compensation in a potential Watson trade between the Dolphins and Texans has been agreed to. Miami owner Stephen Ross has even approved the trade, but the sticking point is that he wants Watson’s legal issues resolved before it’s executed. The only realistic way for that to occur prior to the Nov. 2 trade deadline would be if Watson settled his 22 civil suits. As McClain reports, however, Watson does not want to settle because he believes that would be an admission of guilt.
For his part, McClain tweeted that he has not reported a Watson trade is done.
I'm being bombarded with messages saying I've reported a Watson deal to the Dolphins has been agreed on. I haven't reported that. Nothing's changed since last week. Dolphins -- and any other team Watson has approved -- want the legal issues resolved. That hasn't changed.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) October 26, 2021
A new wrinkle in all this is the assertion by several people in the know that Watson could take the field as soon as he’s wrapped his mind around Miami’s offense, which would mean Watson would not, contrary to what many assumed, be placed on the NFL Commissioner’s Exempt List.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on #Texans QB Deshaun Watson: “We don’t have all the access to that information & pride ourselves on not interfering with it. That process is ongoing.”— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 26, 2021
Important: “We don't feel we have that necessary information to place him on the exempt list.”
Nothing has changed since the NFL informed the #Texans before camp that it wasn’t putting Deshaun Watson on the exempt list. Barring a criminal charge or new evidence, the expectation remains that Watson can play while the civil cases, police investigation and NFL probe play out. https://t.co/lb51VVRllX— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 26, 2021
The legal issues come down to Watson refusing to sign a settlement agreement and a non-disclosure agreement as he feels that would seem to be an admission of guilt.
At this point, the one way for Watson to settle his legal issues would be to reach a settlement with his accusers, but McClain, citing league sources, says Watson doesn’t want to do that because it would represent an admission of guilt.
Specifically, McClain wrote:
The compensation has been agreed to, according to sources familiar with the situation. The Texans should get the three first-round picks they’ve been asking for, but Caserio might have to accept lesser picks than the second-round selections he’s demanded.
Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross has approved a Watson trade, but he wants his legal issues resolved. The only way for Watson to do that before the trade deadline would be to settle the 22 civil suits. League sources say Watson doesn’t want to settle his cases because he believes it would be an admission of guilt.
Settling might be Watsons’ only way out of the football limbo where he’s currently floundering. If he is guilty and a settlement agreement is on the table, Watson should sign it and give these women some closure. If he's not guilty, maybe Watson signs it anyway and takes his lumps, chalking it up to the price of fame and fortune.
Either way, at least Watson would have the opportunity to get away from the Texans before Cal McNair makes another ill-advised comment.
Texans owner Cal McNair expresses contrition for using a racially insensitive term when discussing the COVID-19 virus. https://t.co/bFAi7QnffZ— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 26, 2021
Of course, comments like McNair’s could be the part of the very sort of behavior that led to Watson wanting out of H-Town in the first place.