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Deshaun Watson has new co-defendant in civil cases: The Houston Texans

Vincent Frank

Former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson remains in hot water after more women came forward over the past couple weeks to allege sexual misconduct on the part of the Pro Bowler.

Now a member of the Cleveland Browns following a blockbuster trade from Houston, things have taken a turn recently.

That includes an in-depth report from Jenny Vrentas of The NY Times earlier in the week detailing allegations that the Texans played a role in Watson setting up massage appointments for Watson and had him present non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to those he contracted out.

Now comes this piece of breaking news from the attorney representing the 24 women suing Watson in civil court, Tony Buzbee.

“Based on what we have learned from the Houston Police Department, we will soon be joining the Houston Texans organization and others as defendants in the ongoing lawsuits against Deshaun Watson.

What has become clear is that the Houston Texans organization and their contracting ‘massage therapy company’ facilitated Deshaun Watson’s conduct.”

Tony Buzbee statement, via Sarah Barshop of ESPN

There’s certainly a lot of moving parts as it relates to this ongoing case. While two separate grand juries declined to recommend criminal charges against Watson during the spring, more information is coming out as it relates to the allegations are damning.

Related: NFL insider believes one year Deshaun Watson suspension is possible

Houston Texans inclusion in the Deshaun Watson lawsuits

Deshaun Watson
May 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walks off the field during organized team activities at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Back on March 17 of 2021, the Texans released a statement regarding the allegations against Mr. Watson. In said statement, the organization denied that it had any knowledge of the allegations before they become pubic record on social media.

“We became aware of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson through a social media post last night. This is the first time we heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon.”

Houston Texans statement from March 17, 2021

The aforementioned NY Times report seems to run contrary to this statement.

  • The report states that Watson’s former Texans team provided him with the venue for some of the appointments.
  • A team representative “furnished” the Pro Bowl signal caller with a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) after one fo the woman threatened to expose him online. She’s among the 24 who have filed a civil complaint against Watson.

What this might mean is anyone’s best guess. The onus will be on Buzbee and his firm to prove that the Texans somehow aided Watson while also proving that the quarterback did in fact engage in sexual misconduct.

Adding the Houston Texans organization to the lawsuit creates a whole new layer to this from a legal standpoint. Burdon of proof and the ilk.

As for the NFL and what this might mean, we can expect a statement from the powers that be within New York City later on Wednesday. The same thing can be said for the Texans’ organization.

Should Tom Brady have stayed retired?

This certainly complicates things when it comes to a potential suspension set to be handed down to Deshaun Watson from the NFL later in the summer. With the Texans now set to be named defendants in the civil cases, things will change dramatically.

Just look at how the NFL has handled allegations from former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores relating to perceived racism within the hiring process of head coaches around the league.

We’re intrigued to see if the tone of the league changes from a PR perspective now that one of its teams is set to be involved in the civil cases.