Deshaun Watson’s off-field legal issues took another turn today. The lawyer for the 22 plaintiffs, Tony Buzbee, revealed that the Miami Dolphins would only trade for the Houston Texans’ quarterback if he settled all 22 civil lawsuits filed against him for allegations of sexual misconduct. Watson is being charged by 22 women for sexual misconduct during their private massage therapy sessions.
Tony Buzbee indicated that the team (the attorney did not indicate which team) took a lot of effort to get the case settled in order to facilitate the trade.
“Obviously, there was a lot of effort on their part to get the case settled so there could be a trade apparently,” Buzbee said. “I’m assuming at some point that will come about again. Time is on my side. I’m just gonna continue to pursue the case, continue to do my due diligence on the case and start preparing the case for hopefully a trial.”
Deshaun Watson legal case complicates Dolphins' trade offer to Texans
Despite the legal case, Deshaun Watson had requested a trade from the Houston Texans. He has a no-trade clause that he waived only for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins indicated that they would trade for Watson with the contingency that he settle all of the civil cases filed against him. Earlier in the season, there were also reports that the Dolphins wanted draft pick protection from the Texans or a final resolution to Deshaun Watson's legal case.
The Carolina Panthers, who were also pursuing Watson, did not insist on any settlement of the civil case, but their offer was not enough to sway Watson to waive his no-trade clause for the Panthers. Leading up to the trade deadline, the Dolphins and the Panthers were the only two teams rumored to be heavily interested in trading for Deshaun Watson.
Although the NFL trade deadline ended on November 2nd, the Houston Texans can still trade Watson, as long as he waives his no-trade clause. Watson’s $35 million salary for 2022 is fully guaranteed so the team is unlikely to cut him in the event a trade does not occur.
As the Deshaun Watson situation continues to unfold, both teams may come to regret their decision. Depending on the outcome of the legal case, the Houston Texans may regret not trading Watson to the Dolphins when they could have. The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, may regret not trading for him when they could have (without contingencies) if the two parties ended up settling the case or if Deshaun Watson wins the civil lawsuit.
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