Deshaun Watson’s tenure with the Texans could be coming to an end in one form or another.
With needs around the board, the Texans used their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to select Stanford quarterback Davis Mills at No. 67 overall.
What does this imply?
“They may say it’s the best player on their board or whatever they want,” ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter wrote. “However, the reality is that there are those inside the league who believe Deshaun Watson will not play this season. Some say his career in Houston is over. The Texans are well aware of their quarterback instability, which is why they selected Davis Mills with their third-round pick.”
Watson, 25, requested a trade when the offseason started, believing he had been deceived and disrespected by management and the front office. The Texans refused to budge. They were in a deadlock that was expected to be broken during the NFL Draft.
However, Watson was accused of sexual assault by 22 women in a joint civil suit currently pending in a Texas court. The majority of the women are massage therapists who allege Watson used his position of power and influence to commit sexual abuse or assault.
Watson has denied all charges, and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, has demanded a jury trial. Hardin maintains that he is still attempting to locate some of the Jane Does, although the women’s counsel, Tony Buzbee, has upheld their right to privacy.
“Obviously, we’re monitoring it and looking into it ourselves,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said of the Watson probe. “As part of our personal behavior strategy, we will take some significant measures. When we reach that point, we will undoubtedly make a decision.” Regardless of the legal outcome, Watson could face sanctions under the league’s personal conduct policy.
If the Texans are forced to play without Watson, they will have Mills (14 career games in college), Ryan Finley (four career NFL starts), and journeyman Tyrod Taylor at quarterback (47 career NFL starts).