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Can Deshaun Watson play this year? Explaining the 2021 NFL status of Texans QB as trade rumors swirl



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Deshaun Watson is one of the higher quarterbacks in the NFL when he is on the subject. He hasn’t but been in 2021.

Watson hasn’t performed for the Texans thus far after a tumultuous offseason that noticed him demand a trade away from Houston earlier than being accused of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in 22 active civil lawsuits and 10 legal complaints.

That stated, Watson is not suspended and stays on the Texans’ 53-man roster. He has been rendered a wholesome scratch every week and has usually labored out on his personal at observe.

It looks as if Houston has no plans to play Watson. However, might Watson see motion if he is traded? That’s a query that groups throughout the NFL will probably be asking as the Texans proceed to dangle Watson earlier than the NFL trade deadline.

Here’s the whole lot we find out about Watson’s status and whether or not he’ll play throughout the 2021 NFL season or not.

MORE: What to know about the sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson

Can Deshaun Watson play in 2021?

Watson is technically eligible to play in 2021 as of this writing. The NFL has but to droop him and if the Texans so selected, they may insert him into the beginning lineup. They simply have not taken that method as they attempt to trade him whereas navigating the accusations levied in opposition to him.

That stated, any workforce that trades for Watson will be capable to play him in the event that they so want. It does not appear probably the NFL will droop him but; they’re ready for Watson’s legal proceedings to wrap up earlier than launching their very own inquiry, as Watson’s layer Rusty Hardin explained in August.

“The NFL regularly tries to not reach out to the defendant and his lawyers and seek evidence from them until the criminal investigation is over,” Hardin stated. “Historically, they want to make sure they don’t interfere with the criminal investigation. When the criminal investigation is over, then they will do their own separate finishing up. … I have had no contact with the NFL, except to call initially and say, ‘Whenever the time is appropriate, we will fully cooperate. You let us know.’ And that’s going to be the case.”

It may very well be some time earlier than that investigation finishes, so the NFL appears unlikely to droop Watson. However, there’s one other device that the league might use to successfully droop Watson in the event that they so desired: the commissioner’s exempt record.

MORE: Where Deshaun Watson ranks among NFL’s highest-paid players for 2021

What is the commissioner’s exempt record?

The commissioner’s exempt record is a device that the NFL has utilized in the previous to make sure gamers aren’t capable of play amid ongoing legal investigations. Its use grew to become extra widespread in 2014, when Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy have been all positioned on it whereas coping with off-the-field, home violence-related points.

As NBC Sports Boston explained in 2019, the commissioner’s exempt record is, successfully, a kind of paid go away.

While on the commissioner’s exempt record, a participant is paid as if he have been on the energetic roster, but he doesn’t rely in opposition to his workforce’s 53-man energetic roster restrict. A participant on the exempt record isn’t allowed to observe or attend video games, however he’s allowed to be current at the facility for conferences, to work out, and to obtain therapy. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the one who decides which gamers are or aren’t positioned on the record, therefore the identify.

IYER: Deshaun Watson among players to watch ahead of trade deadline

Will the NFL place Deshaun Watson on the commissioner’s exempt record?

The NFL hasn’t positioned Watson on the commissioner’s exempt record as a result of they have not needed to, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

Per a supply with data of the scenario, the league hasn’t decided about Watson as a result of it doesn’t must decide about Watson. With the Texans content material to pay him to not play and with Watson content material to not play and receives a commission for it, the NFL has no purpose to do something about it. He’s already on paid go away.

That is smart to an extent, however it might make issues messy if Watson will get traded and the workforce that acquires him makes an attempt to play him. As such, groups which are contemplating buying and selling for Watson should be prepared for the league to probably place him on the exempt record in the event that they try to start out him. That would serve as the equal of a suspension.

That stated, per NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo, the NFL is not planning on inserting him on the exempt record as his authorized scenario unfolds.

That will surely assist improve Watson’s trade worth, although there would nonetheless be danger concerned in buying him.

MORE: Texans “haven’t budged” on Deshaun Watson trade price

Deshaun Watson trade rumors

There had largely been silence on the Deshaun Watson entrance till John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texans have been “getting closer” to a cope with the Dolphins on Oct. 20. McClain wrote: “A deal could go down this week, according to people familiar with the negotiations.”

The Dolphins have been initially viewed as one of the suitors for Watson when Watson’s trade demand was first made public. However, their obvious curiosity waned — together with that of different groups — when the allegations surrounding Watson grew to become public.

The Texans continued to have a excessive asking value for Watson. They reportedly wanted at least three first-round picks in a trade for him even after the lawsuits have been filed.

What has modified that’s apparently making Miami extra inquisitive about a deal? It’s unclear if the Texans’ asking value has dropped, however the Dolphins have gone 1-5 to start out the season. Tua Tagovailoa has regarded good at instances, however he additionally has missed three video games with a rib damage.

Watson can be an on-field improve over Tagovailoa at this level. Still, any potential trade will come all the way down to Miami’s stage of consolation surrounding Watson’s unsure taking part in status and having to sacrifice vital sources to accumulate him.

MORE: Why Dolphins, Panthers, others didn’t originally trade for Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson sexual assault accusations, lawsuits

There have been a complete of 23 lawsuits filed in opposition to Watson since lawyer Tony Buzbee filed the first three lawsuits on March 16 and 17. One has since been dropped, however 22 lawsuits in opposition to Watson stay energetic.

The lawsuits come from a bevy of therapeutic massage therapists who accuse Watson of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. The accusations vary from inappropriate touching to compelled oral intercourse.

“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” Buzbee wrote in the third lawsuit he filed, per ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. Meanwhile, the 14th lawsuit famous that the plaintiff seen Watson as a “serial predator.”

Watson denied any wrongdoing in a Twitter statement he made on March 16.

As a outcome of a social media put up by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I lately grew to become conscious of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed in opposition to me. I’ve not but seen the grievance, however I do know this: I’ve by no means handled any lady with something aside from the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this is not about cash, however earlier than submitting swimsuit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I shortly rejected. Unlike him, this is not about cash for me — it is about clearing my identify, and I stay up for doing that. 

You can learn extra about the lawsuits in opposition to Watson in-depth by clicking here. Please word that the particulars of the lawsuits and accusations are disturbing.



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