Sexual Assault Lawsuit Filed against QB DeShaun Watson

Phil Plantier

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I think you were pretty spot on in your previous post. These cases are difficult and when you’re not talking a rape or penetrative sexual assault, you start to consider the sentence (which would likely be light in this situation) and the amount of effort it will take to get a conviction (if you even can get a conviction) and do the calculus on whether or not it’s worth it. In my experience, most jurisdictions wouldn’t pick up this case without a law enforcement report and at least some substantiating evidence, due to the delayed reporting and motive to fabricate ($$). Also, as you previously indicated, as reprehensible as Watson’s alleged acts are, it’s not exactly the crime of the century. It would be a huge effort to move this to a trial for what amounts to only months of jail time or maybe just probation.
I'm not a lawyer, but isn't the counter-balance to this that the Harris County DA is
  • A democrat
  • A woman
  • More worried about her left than her right?
In this situation, I can imagine that even fighting in a losing effort might be helpful, politically.
 

Preacher

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I'm not a lawyer, but isn't the counter-balance to this that the Harris County DA is
  • A democrat
  • A woman
  • More worried about her left than her right?
In this situation, I can imagine that even fighting in a losing effort might be helpful, politically.
There's certainly some motivation for elected officials to grab some headlines. Even if they ultimately don't decide to prosecute, they can have some press events announcing a full investigation into the allegations to show how serious the office views sex offenses.
 

Shelterdog

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There's certainly some motivation for elected officials to grab some headlines. Even if they ultimately don't decide to prosecute, they can have some press events announcing a full investigation into the allegations to show how serious the office views sex offenses.
Hard to predict what people might do for politically motivated reasons. I will throw out that bringing a case against Watson would instantly overshadow the rest of the DA's career and the politics might not work out predictably: it's far from clear to me how popular it would be to make a giant deal --which it would be--out of prosecuting a 25 year old black man for essentially a ton of misdemeanors (especially if you lose but even if you win some of the case but Watson gets no prison time).
 

bakahump

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So Watson supposedly wants to play for Denver. I guess the commute from Florence will be more convenient.
 

SMU_Sox

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So Watson supposedly wants to play for Denver. I guess the commute from Florence will be more convenient.
Denver with a good QB is a scary team. They have receiving weapons, a good RB group, their OL is going to be top 5-10-15 (there’s always a range with OL play) in the league, and they have depth at all the above groups. Their defense has a ton of quality DBs and pass rushers. Their coach is excellent handling defensive issues. You give this team Watson and an already good division would have 3 teams that could make a run. Only team I’m counting out is the Raiders because their defense is a dumpster fire and they draft like shit.
 

sodenj5

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Watson's name is trending on Twitter today, as multiple NFL reporters -- by sheer coincidence, I'm sure -- are tweeting about Houston's trade demands. That a team would even consider trading for him at this point is pretty hard to believe, but the NFL never fails to surprise.

View: https://twitter.com/TomPelissero/status/1419622022141947906?s=19

View: https://twitter.com/mortreport/status/1419632423034314761?s=19
I can’t see a team giving up significant assets without 100% certainty that Watson will be able to play a full season this year.

Until his legal issues clear up, any team trading for him is taking a massive gamble on their 2021 season and beyond.
 

Harry Hooper

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I can’t see a team giving up significant assets without 100% certainty that Watson will be able to play a full season this year.

Until his legal issues clear up, any team trading for him is taking a massive gamble on their 2021 season and beyond.
How would the salary cap work if Watson were suspended for 8-17 games before the season starts? Would any acquiring team be responsible for the full salary on the cap or just for the pro-rated portion? If the latter, would there be a team interested in acquiring Watson that is counting on him not playing much in the 2021 season?

Even if there is no salary cap relief, could a weaker team with its eyes on the 2022 season see Watson missing games in 2021 as a plus, both in terms of real cash savings and higher draft pick position for the next draft?
 

Shelterdog

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I can’t see a team giving up significant assets without 100% certainty that Watson will be able to play a full season this year.

Until his legal issues clear up, any team trading for him is taking a massive gamble on their 2021 season and beyond.
I continue to think his legal issues aren't the real problem (he's a scumball who's going to pay a lot of money his endorsements will crater but he's not going to jail) --his problems is NFL's reaction to his legal problems. What I don't know is whether a team can get behind the scenes info on legal discipline (get a nod and a wink that it's no more than 8 games to be served at the beginning of 2021 for example). Once you get the certainity with the league I think a trade is easy.
 

E5 Yaz

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We have seen players come back from similar or worse behaviors, so I think the idea of him being available for a full season this year is a nothing-burger. You're taking him on for multiple seasons.

Now, is the franchise/community willing to bring him in and give him their support. That's more the issue.
 

leetinsley38

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Just the tone of the ESPN article and the coordinated cycle of news stories tells everything - it’s happening. The article focuses on draft compensation, Texans willingness to move on, training camp fines, etc. then at the very end - oh yeah btw, there are 22 active pending lawsuits. Not a single mention of a suspension or risk for the acquiring team, PR worries, etc.It’s all coordinated with Roger’s blessing.
 

nattysez

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Just the tone of the ESPN article and the coordinated cycle of news stories tells everything - it’s happening. The article focuses on draft compensation, Texans willingness to move on, training camp fines, etc. then at the very end - oh yeah btw, there are 22 active pending lawsuits. Not a single mention of a suspension or risk for the acquiring team, PR worries, etc.It’s all coordinated with Roger’s blessing.
To your point, listen to NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo below. It sounds like the NFL's position is "well, we have no idea what consents were given and the DA is not filing charges, so we have nothing to suspend him for." Also, a nice dash of Watson rehab -- "he refuses to agree to an NDA because he wants to tell his side of the story." Gross.

View: https://twitter.com/MikeGarafolo/status/1419724064252473352
 

sodenj5

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Reviewing what’s going on in this case and reading up on the Cosby PA Supreme Court decision, I don’t understand why all states have not adopted F.R.E. 413 which allows evidence to be introduced of similar (uncharged) instances of sexual assault. This helps to bring in evidence from cases either outside the statue of limitations or from other jurisdictions into the case at hand. Little more flexible than FRE 404b because it can be used to show propensity.
 

mauf

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Just the tone of the ESPN article and the coordinated cycle of news stories tells everything - it’s happening. The article focuses on draft compensation, Texans willingness to move on, training camp fines, etc. then at the very end - oh yeah btw, there are 22 active pending lawsuits. Not a single mention of a suspension or risk for the acquiring team, PR worries, etc.It’s all coordinated with Roger’s blessing.
Until there’s a credible report that another team is interested, it’s nothing but the Texans posturing. Imo, Watson is untradable until his legal issues are resolved. Goodell is not going to give any team assurances of what he will or won’t do in response to future developments in this case. And Watson landing on the restricted list (so he can’t play, but still gets paid) is a worst-case scenario for the acquiring team. I can’t see any team accepting that risk on top of the PR hit, never mind giving up multiple valuable assets for the privilege.

I expect little from ESPN, but even I was surprised by their credulous coverage yesterday.
 

johnmd20

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Until there’s a credible report that another team is interested, it’s nothing but the Texans posturing. Imo, Watson is untradable until his legal issues are resolved. Goodell is not going to give any team assurances of what he will or won’t do in response to future developments in this case. And Watson landing on the restricted list (so he can’t play, but still gets paid) is a worst-case scenario for the acquiring team. I can’t see any team accepting that risk on top of the PR hit, never mind giving up multiple valuable assets for the privilege.

I expect little from ESPN, but even I was surprised by their credulous coverage yesterday.
The Texans want three first picks and MORE. It's hilarious what a clown show that franchise currently is.
 

Big McCorkle

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The Texans want three first picks and MORE. It's hilarious what a clown show that franchise currently is.
Make no mistake, the Texans are indeed a hilarious clown show, but making that demand for Watson is pretty much completely reasonable. It's a tough situation to be in, one that on the scale of cosmic (or is it karmic?) justice they deserve to suffer, but the way out of it certainly does not involve shipping away Watson for anything less than a king's ransom.

We can probably classify the range of outcomes into three groupings. The first is one where nothing comes of the allegations; they fail to successfully make their case in civil (or criminal) court, and/or there is insufficient evidence to either force or convince the league office to hit him with a heavy punishment. The second is where the legal cases bear fruit; Watson faces civil penalties, his image is totally nuked, and the NFL hits him with an Adrian Peterson-like punishment, or some such outcome.

In neither of these two outcomes does it make sense to trade him for anything, or at least much, less than what the non-rapist version of him would get. The Texans would be hurting their own chances by doing so, and even looking at it from a moral standpoint, they wouldn't actually be making any sort of strong stand by giving him what he wanted anyway and trading him to another team; they'd only be allowing an unscrupulous team to benefit from their willingness to take on a likely sexual predator. However, there might be something tempting about letting another team take all the heat for employing Watson, but I don't think most NFL FOs would place the cost of that heat as being greater than multiple FRPs. Cap relief could be a consideration, though.

It's like, if Caserio trades Watson right now for substantially below his 'typical' value, in which of these two outcomes does it actually end up being the right move to do so? If he's going to end up playing no matter what, why subsidize another team's willingness to put up with everything about him?

There is the third possible outcome, albeit one that seems pretty unlikely, is that criminal charges come down, the NFL league office hits Watson with a massive ban, or something of that sort happens that results in Watson having played his last down in the NFL. In this case, it makes plenty of sense to steal some value from another team... but this is an absolute fringe outcome, or at least so it would seem to be. It might not be, but it would be kinda dumb to not wait for more information to become available with regard to the legal proceedings and start making assumptions.

The market dynamics are really such that a Watson trade is incredibly unlikely. The acceptable cost for an acquiring team to pay is not equal to the acceptable price for the Texans to charge.
 

johnmd20

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Make no mistake, the Texans are indeed a hilarious clown show, but making that demand for Watson is pretty much completely reasonable. It's a tough situation to be in, one that on the scale of cosmic (or is it karmic?) justice they deserve to suffer, but the way out of it certainly does not involve shipping away Watson for anything less than a king's ransom.
20 women have charged Watson with some form of sexual assault. Watson has no value right now, he's not worth 3 sacks of potatoes, let alone 3 firsts. . . .and more. The non rapist price might be 3 firsts. But that ship has sailed.
 

lostjumper

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20 women have charged Watson with some form of sexual assault. Watson has no value right now, he's not worth 3 sacks of potatoes, let alone 3 firsts. . . .and more. The non rapist price might be 3 firsts. But that ship has sailed.
And as we all know, once someone is accused of sexual assault or domestic violence in the NFL, the league tosses them out on their ass and they are banned for life.

narrator: They don't.

You statement is incorrect as well. 20+ women have accused Watson of sexual assault, but the DA/ police will investigate and potentially charge Watson.
I firmly believe that Watson is a rapist scumbag, but I wouldn't be surprised if Watson is suspended for the first 4-6 games and if no charges have been filed at that point, allowed to played. I think the chances that Watson plays this year is sadly pretty good.
 

BigSoxFan

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Is there any sense on timing of a Watson suspension? We’re getting pretty close to the season starting. Know it‘s the NFL so who the hell knows.
 

Euclis20

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And as we all know, once someone is accused of sexual assault or domestic violence in the NFL, the league tosses them out on their ass and they are banned for life.

narrator: They don't.

You statement is incorrect as well. 20+ women have accused Watson of sexual assault, but the DA/ police will investigate and potentially charge Watson.
I firmly believe that Watson is a rapist scumbag, but I wouldn't be surprised if Watson is suspended for the first 4-6 games and if no charges have been filed at that point, allowed to played. I think the chances that Watson plays this year is sadly pretty good.
The story is far from over. We don't know the results of any civil or criminal charges yet, or if there are more victims to come forward. We also don't know the full extent of the public blowback, which will certainly guide any punishment from the league (above and beyond whatever the courts decide). It's entirely possible that that he skates on all of this or gets some minor fine or suspension, in which case he is worth the 3 1st round picks. We're not there yet, so asking for that much isn't pricing in any of his [extremely high] risk. They can ask for it, but it's a ludicrous price given the offseason that he's had. Maybe someone takes a risk if the price drops, but until these situations are resolved anyone paying top dollar essentially murders their franchise on and off the field for 5 years in the very real possibility that this gets worse for Watson. Only an idiot does that.
 

Ralphwiggum

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And as we all know, once someone is accused of sexual assault or domestic violence in the NFL, the league tosses them out on their ass and they are banned for life.

narrator: They don't.

You statement is incorrect as well. 20+ women have accused Watson of sexual assault, but the DA/ police will investigate and potentially charge Watson.
I firmly believe that Watson is a rapist scumbag, but I wouldn't be surprised if Watson is suspended for the first 4-6 games and if no charges have been filed at that point, allowed to played. I think the chances that Watson plays this year is sadly pretty good.
But until the dust settles on the league discipline/potential criminal issues, which will drag the details of his behavior into the public light again and potentially land him suspended for a significant period of time or maybe even in jail, his trade value is essentially zero. Nobody is trading anything of significance for him until it’s clear that (a) he’ll be able to play, and (b) there won’t be a significant PR hit for giving up valuable first round picks for a rapist (though I’ll concede (b) is something most NFL teams would figure out a way to deal with for a franchise QB).
 

lostjumper

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But until the dust settles on the league discipline/potential criminal issues, which will drag the details of his behavior into the public light again and potentially land him suspended for a significant period of time or maybe even in jail, his trade value is essentially zero. Nobody is trading anything of significance for him until it’s clear that (a) he’ll be able to play, and (b) there won’t be a significant PR hit for giving up valuable first round picks for a rapist (though I’ll concede (b) is something most NFL teams would figure out a way to deal with for a franchise QB).
I'm just pessimistic that the NFL will do anything about it. I hope he never sees the field again, but the NFL has a horrid track record with this. Watson is a star in the league. They'll do everything they can to avoid do anything in this situation, which means he'll play. And if he plays, he's got value. Of course Houston won't get what their asking for, but I think he'll play this year and could certainly be traded.
 
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GeorgeCostanza

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I think we both agree that Watson should never play in the NFL again. But what we think doesn't matter. It's what the NFL thinks, and Watson is a star in thei
I'm just pessimistic that the NFL will do anything about it. I hope he never sees the field again, but the NFL has a horrid track record with this. Watson is a star in the league. They'll do everything they can to avoid do anything in this situation, which means he'll play. And if he plays, he's got value. Of course Houston won't get what their asking for, but I think he'll play this year and could certainly be traded.
$50 says he doesn’t play a regular season or playoff down this year. Winner chooses the charity?
 

lostjumper

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$50 says he doesn’t play a regular season or playoff down this year. Winner chooses the charity?
I have no desire to place a bet on something such as this. Again, I personally don't believe that Watson should see the field this year. I just doubt the NFL will do the right thing.

Does everyone else believe the NFL will do the right thing?
 

Joe Sixpack

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This is the same league that employs Ben Roethlisberger, Tyreek Hill, and many others.

I see no reason (sadly) Watson wouldn't be allowed to play after a suspension of 4-8 games.

The NFL's history on stuff like this is just abysmal and has shown no signs of getting better (see: Washington Football Team).
 

nattysez

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Well, this is fascinating. It appears that the Texans are having Watson play a bunch of positions other than QB in practice and he's doing as little as possible in each role he's given except at the start of practice when he was at QB. The theory is that they're trying to establish the facts necessary for a "failure of best efforts" claim that would let them void portions of his contract.

View: https://twitter.com/JohnPGilbertNFL/status/1420415412345397252
 

worm0082

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That’s crazy. I cant remember something like that happening before. You’d think his agent would have made him aware of this (the Texans screwing with him to try to void the contract) and Watson would be smart enough to give 100% regardless of where they lined him up.
 

Big McCorkle

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Well, this is fascinating. It appears that the Texans are having Watson play a bunch of positions other than QB in practice and he's doing as little as possible in each role he's given except at the start of practice when he was at QB. The theory is that they're trying to establish the facts necessary for a "failure of best efforts" claim that would let them void portions of his contract.

View: https://twitter.com/JohnPGilbertNFL/status/1420415412345397252
It's an insane situation, particularly given the new CBA rules, I think.

Watson can't not show up, or he receives mandatory fines that the team can't waive or forgive. The team, either because they think he's probably guilty or that he very well might not be available for the season, would presumably prefer to be giving reps to Tyrod and whoever else is on the trash heap that is the Texans roster. So, you gotta do something, right?

That having been said, I'm really kinda skeptical that the Texans are trying to manufacture some situation to let them void portions of his contract. Why? Because Watson would have to go along with that. I'm not saying that the Texans organization is full of geniuses, but it's hard to imagine them deciding to try out a plan that basically requires Watson to willingly give up shitloads of money. It strikes me as more likely that it's just them not really knowing what the fuck to do right now, although it's certainly possible that everyone involved just that stupid.
 

HomeRunBaker

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We have seen players come back from similar or worse behaviors, so I think the idea of him being available for a full season this year is a nothing-burger. You're taking him on for multiple seasons.

Now, is the franchise/community willing to bring him in and give him their support. That's more the issue.
This is why the NFL has the Raiders. What better city to hide Watson’s past than Vegas where sex sins are a part of the cities culture.
 

mwonow

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This is why the NFL has the Raiders. What better city to hide Watson’s past than Vegas where sex sins are a part of the cities culture.
Funny - I saw E5's quote and thought "That's Dan Snyder's music!" Though Pittsburgh has a better-established track record in this area.
 

Section30

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Well, this is fascinating. It appears that the Texans are having Watson play a bunch of positions other than QB in practice and he's doing as little as possible in each role he's given except at the start of practice when he was at QB. The theory is that they're trying to establish the facts necessary for a "failure of best efforts" claim that would let them void portions of his contract.
If true couldn't Watson counter this by going a 100% then pulling up with a back strain or quad strain or something? Nothing like a "phantom" injury to still get paid.
 

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This is why the NFL has the Raiders. What better city to hide Watson’s past than Vegas where sex sins are a part of the cities culture.

You're about two decades in the past. Mark Davis has a very public "no violence against women" policy. It comes from the team's commitments to the Belitnekoff foundation. They've skirted pretty close to it, most notably bringing Tom Cable back as an assistant coach and did bring in racist bully Richie Incognito, but I have to think Watson is off the table for Raiders' ownership.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/raiders/article/Raiders-owner-has-zero-tolerance-for-domestic-6636707.php
 

Hendu for Kutch

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It's an insane situation, particularly given the new CBA rules, I think.

Watson can't not show up, or he receives mandatory fines that the team can't waive or forgive. The team, either because they think he's probably guilty or that he very well might not be available for the season, would presumably prefer to be giving reps to Tyrod and whoever else is on the trash heap that is the Texans roster. So, you gotta do something, right?

That having been said, I'm really kinda skeptical that the Texans are trying to manufacture some situation to let them void portions of his contract. Why? Because Watson would have to go along with that. I'm not saying that the Texans organization is full of geniuses, but it's hard to imagine them deciding to try out a plan that basically requires Watson to willingly give up shitloads of money. It strikes me as more likely that it's just them not really knowing what the fuck to do right now, although it's certainly possible that everyone involved just that stupid.
I just can't imagine having Watson playing safety for the scout team could possibly be anything other than chicanery on the part of the Texans. There's just no other reason to do something like that.
 

HomeRunBaker

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You're about two decades in the past. Mark Davis has a very public "no violence against women" policy. It comes from the team's commitments to the Belitnekoff foundation. They've skirted pretty close to it, most notably bringing Tom Cable back as an assistant coach and did bring in racist bully Richie Incognito, but I have to think Watson is off the table for Raiders' ownership.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/raiders/article/Raiders-owner-has-zero-tolerance-for-domestic-6636707.php
I mean I was 50/50 joking about the city of Las Vegas (being that 90% of what happens there isn’t reported) but don’t you feel saying I’m two decades late as the Raiders recently brought on Cable and Incognito a little hypocritical if Watson is cleared?
 

Big McCorkle

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I just can't imagine having Watson playing safety for the scout team could possibly be anything other than chicanery on the part of the Texans. There's just no other reason to do something like that.
It's such an absurd situation that you can't completely disregard it as a possibility, but at the same time it'd be such an awful plan on their part that I don't want to assume the stupidity necessary for them to be going with it. I really don't think Caserio is that dumb, y'know?
 

ehaz

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It’s incredible that we’re talking about teams trading assets for the guy with 24 sexual assault cases against him. He shouldn’t play another snap.

But this is the NFL so I guess he’ll play and then be awarded Comeback Player of the Year?