Deshaun Watson has already seen his personal and professional reputation thrown into chaos amid accusations of sexual assault and misconduct. His wealth may be next in taking a hit.
Sponsors are dropping the Houston Texans quarterback, fleeing from Watson, as multiple women file lawsuits against him. The first was sports megabrand Nike on Wednesday.
"We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation," Nike said in a statement, according to CNBC.
And Nike was the first, but not the last. Reliant Energy said Wednesday that its deal with Watson is slated to expire soon and won't be extended.
"Reliant is aware of pending civil lawsuits and a criminal investigation involving Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans quarterback," Reliant Energy told KHOU in a statement. "Our relationship with Watson as a brand ambassador was scheduled to end this spring prior to these allegations, and there are no plans for future engagements or contracts with him. We take accusations of this nature very seriously. With respect to the legal process, we do not have any further comment on this matter."
Reliant's stance mirrored that of grocery store H-E-B, another former Watson sponsor. The store said it won't be renewing its deal with the quarterback, which has already expired.
"H-E-B’s relationship with Deshaun Watson ended with the Texans’ 2020 season," the store told KHOU. "There are no plans for future engagement."
Front Office Sports' A.J. Perez reported Wednesday that Watson-sponsored Beats By Dre is parting ways with him, citing a source who said the plans were already in place before the allegations were disclosed.
"NEW: Beats by Dre is parting ways with Texans QB Deshaun Watson, @FOS has learned," Perez tweeted. "The move comes hours after Nike announced it had suspended its relationship with Watsons amid sexual assault/harassment allegations made by 22 women."
Deshaun Watson has a lot to lose if sponsors keep fleeing
Watson has already lost out on potential millions of dollars in sponsorships, and more of the same could be on the way. His other endorsement deals include agreements with Zurvita and Lefty’s Famous Cheesesteaks Hoagies & Grill, neither of which immediately responded to Forbes for comment.
Watson was the seventh highest-paid NFL player last season, earning pretax money of $37.4 million, according to Forbes. He made $8 million on endorsements alone.
Watson's on-field career looks shaky, threatening the money he would make from teams. He had previously requested a trade from the Texans, but the lawsuits have made a trade, and even his future with his current team, look foggy at best.
In short, Deshaun Watson has tons of money at stake as the situation evolves.