Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges, despite multiple allegations of sexual assault, a Texas grand jury decided on Friday.
Watson was accused by 22 women who worked as massage therapists of sexual assault. On Friday, the grand jury heard testimony regarding nine potential charges from some of these women before deciding not to press charges against Watson. Watson still faces several civil lawsuits, which may not move forward more substantially now that criminal lawsuits are off the table.
The end of his criminal case does not necessarily mean Watson will escape punishment from the NFL, which was waiting for legal proceedings to unfold before revealing the results of its own investigation. There is precedent for the league to suspend a player who has not been charged with a criminal act, as it did when Ben Roethlisberger was suspended in 2010.
The Texans plan to trade Watson, who requested a trade before the allegations became public in 2021. Watson sat out the entire 2021 season at the request of the team while his legal issues were worked out. General Manager Nick Caserio said during the 2022 NFL Combine that the team is waiting for those legal issues to be resolved before acting on the Watson/
“Once the information becomes more relevant or widespread, we will address that accordingly,” Caserio said. “My philosophy from the start has always been to do the right thing by the Houston Texans organization. We’re going to continue to do that here in the future.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may be interested in Watson as they seek a replacement for Roethlisberger after his retirement in January. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King, now host of VSiN, said the Steelers are interested in the player. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat writer Gerry Dulac reported the Steelers aren’t interested.
The asking price for Watson is also unknown. The team had asked for something in the range of three first-round picks, but it’s unclear if the current quarterback market will support that price.
Watson is one of the last surefire starting quarterbacks available with Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson out of the market, but the abuse allegations, along with his season away from the game, could lower what teams are willing to pay. for the old one. Clemson star.
His results on the field over four seasons are impressive. He led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards in 2020, while finishing first in yards per attempt and yards per completion. His career passer rating of 104.5 is tied with Aaron Rodgers for second place among active quarterbacks, behind Patrick Mahomes.