As the NFL marches closer to the NFL Draft, the supposed landmark of when a Deshaun Watson trade would occur, Deshaun Watson’s legal proceedings march further down the road as well. Two Harris County judges ruled last week that Watson’s accusers couldn’t remain anonymous so Watson could fully investigate and defend himself against their accusations.
One of the woman has dropped her civil lawsuit because of a privacy and security concerns.
Judges ruled last week 14 of Watson’s accusers needed to reveal their identities in court filings, allowing Watson’s attorneys to respond and defend their client. The women’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, said all 22 planned to do so; 20 have so far, and one chose to dismiss her claim.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 14, 2021
As of this post, 20 of the 21 remaining plaintiffs have now disclosed their identities.
Now, 20 of the 21 other lawsuits have been amended and are available on the Harris County District Clerk's website.— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) April 14, 2021
Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, had the following to say:
“While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not right. And we look forward to resolving these matters in court.”
On the football side of things, Houston still has a decision to make. Do they want to stand behind Watson and remain adamant he’s the quarterback of their team, or do they trade him to another team, assuming another team is still interested in someone with the accusations he has tied to his name? The 2021 NFL Draft is no longer the center point of the Watson trade discussions.
Regardless, the legal side of this is more important than the football side. There is currently no end in sight.