Deshaun Watson trade between Texans, Dolphins is done, but there’s a huge catch
The Miami Dolphins have been rumored as a Deshaun Watson trade destination for quite some time, with owner Stephen Ross reportedly being a big proponent of the move. Well, the Dolphins and Houston Texans have apparently agreed on trade compensation for Watson, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, but there’s a massive catch.
Ross wants Watson’s legal issues stemming from a number of sexual misconduct allegations resolved before the Nov. 2 trade deadline next week. The Dolphins owner also wants to know from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell if Watson would be suspended and, if that’s the case, for how long.
For Deshaun Watson to have his legal issues cleared up before the trade deadline, he would have to settle the 22 civil suits against him. McClain reports Watson doesn’t want to do that because he believes that would be an admission of guilt in these cases. There were also 10 criminal complaints filed to Houston police earlier this year, though Watson hasn’t been charged with anything.
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As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes, it seems like a long shot that these issues will be resolved in the next week before the deadline. Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog does say this gives the plaintiffs’ lawyer a lot of leverage in the situation.
Goodell commented on the matter Tuesday at the NFL owners meeting, and he said the league doesn’t want to interfere in the investigation. He claimed the NFL doesn’t have enough information at the moment to put Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. This would seem to indicate that Watson could play if he were to be traded.
Deshaun Watson hasn’t played for the Texans this season. The quarterback requested a trade in the offseason, and then came the avalanche of allegations against him. He’s almost certainly never playing for Houston again, so the question now is if this trade will actually go through before the deadline.