Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson remains in a holding pattern when it comes to continuing his NFL career with north of 20 women accusing the star of sexual assault and/or misconduct.
Off the field, Watson’s own freedom could potentially be on the line. Recently, reports indicated that a grand jury could soon be convened to decide whether criminal charges should be filed against the star signal caller.
Now, according to the attorney representing the accusers, the FBI has gotten involved in the cases. Tony Buzbee seemingly broke some news in this regard on Tuesday. It’s some interesting stuff.
“Let’s be clear, when somebody comes into your office on the 73rd floor of the Chase Tower, whether they’re the FDA or the FBI, it’s a big deal,” Buzbee said, via Pro Football Talk. “Well, it was the FBI. They contacted me and I’ve met with them three times now and now they’ve met with several of the plaintiffs in the case.”
Always willing to try the case in the court of public opinion, Buzbee previously hinted in the direction of the feds getting involved in the Deshaun Watson case.
“Deshaun Watson reaches out to a woman in Atlanta, Georgia, while he’s in Houston,” Buzbee told reports in a press conference this past spring. “Hear what I’m saying. He reaches out to a woman via direct message on Instagram who’s located in Atlanta, Georgia. He does this while he’s in Houston. He asks her for a massage. He tells her he’ll fly her in. He buys her a plane ticket. He arranges for her Uber from the airport. He Ubers her to the Houstonian.”
The FBI potentially getting involved in the case complicates things further. According to Buzbee, one agent he met with pointed to Watson allegedly contacting multiple accusers from out of state. This puts those two cases celarly in the jurisdiction of the feds.
Deshaun Watson legal situation and the quarterback’s future in the NFL
In addition to a potential grand jury being convened, the Houston Police Department continues to conduct a criminal investigation into the charges. Meanwhile, the NFL is doing its own investigation under the personal conduct policy — working directly with authorities in Houston.
As of right now, there’s been no decision to place Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. However, previous suggestions concluded that a league-mandated suspension could be in the cards. As we’ve learned in the past, there doesn’t need to be any criminal charges filed against a player in order for him to ace punishment from the league.
As for Watson, he did report to Texans training camp earlier this summer as a way to avoid the $50,000 daily fine that would have come with holding out. It might seem like eons ago when news broke that Watson requested a trade. But that point also still stands. He wants out of dodge.
Whether any team takes a chance on the quarterback in a trade will depend heavily on how the legal situation plays out off the field. For now, it’s looking less likely that we’ll see Deshaun Watson on the field at any point during the 2021 NFL season. Only time will tell on that front.