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Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Non-Disclosure Agreements May Have Stalled Deal

The attorney representing Watson’s accusers responds to ESPN questioning.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Your Houston Texans were reportedly *this* close to landing a blockbuster deal with the Miami Dolphins to send embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Sunshine State right before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline. Talks broke down, however, allegedly due to Watson’s inability to settle his civil lawsuits. John Barr and Sarah Barshop of ESPN went to the attorney representing the 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Watson, Tony Buzbee, seeking answers.

Tony Buzbee:

In what was submitted to us, there were nondisclosure agreements and many of the women pushed back on those.

First it was, ‘We need to get 22 cases settled’ and then it was, ‘Well, maybe we can get 20 cases settled,’ and, finally, there was some discussion of maybe even less than that,” Buzbee said. “But based on the terms that were submitted to us, we weren’t going to get 22 settlements. Period.

Buzbee ultimately called the NDAs a “dealbreaker.” This is yet another strange development in the saga, as the NDAs were allegedly what stopped Watson from settling prior to this latest frenzy:

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, did not respond to ESPN’s request for comment about the settlement talks. In July, Hardin told ESPN that Watson would not sign any settlement that included a confidentiality agreement. “I do not want anybody to be saying that this guy paid off women to stay quiet,” he said at the time.

The execution of NDAs means the general public might never know what happened between Watson and his accusers. However, Buzbee and Hardin both seem determined that their side knows the truth and that will save the day for their respective clients.

Buzbee:

We’re going to prepare the cases for trial because, ultimately, people can commentate and give their opinion but the ultimate opinion that matters is 12 people that sit on a jury in Harris County. You know, all these so-called experts, keyboard warriors who think they know what happened in those massage rooms, they don’t know. I know and these women know and time is on our side. We’re going to prepare the case and we’re going to try the case.

What this means is that, despite the NFL trade deadline expiring, we shouldn’t expect this storyline to go away anytime soon. Even if the two sides do settle between now and the upcoming court dates, Watson is locked to the Houston Texans until the the 2022 NFL league year begins on March 16th. Hopefully, by then, Nick Caserio will have his pick of suitors, like the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, and more.

If Deshaun Watson’s return to the field becomes a reality, he will instantly become one of the hottest commodities on the NFL market. Based on the NFL’s history of player punishment, that day will come sooner or later.