Mar 15, 2022 - Sports

Deshaun Watson's troubles aren't over

Deshaun Watson
Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges for sexual misconduct after a grand jury rejected all nine criminal cases on Friday.

Why it matters: This clears the way for Watson's career to resume, but the allegations are still the subject of civil suits and an NFL investigation, creating an uncomfortable situation for the league.

  • Watson wants out of Houston and is meeting with teams (Panthers and Saints on Monday, Browns today) while simultaneously being deposed in the civil actions pending against him.
  • Interested teams are expected to review the testimony he gives today, and the quality of his answers could impact his trade market.

Catch up quick: 22 massage therapists filed civil suits against Watson a year ago, accusing him of touching them with his genitals and, in some cases, forcing them to perform oral sex.

  • Eight of those 22 women — plus two others — also filed criminal complaints. Those criminal proceedings ended Friday, but the civil lawsuits are ongoing.
  • Watson's lawyers have said there was "some sexual activity" during some of the massage appointments, but that he never coerced anyone. They advised him to invoke the Fifth Amendment on Friday.

What's next: Watson hasn't played since December 2020. Now, the Texans are hoping to find a trade partner for the embattled QB who's wanted out of Houston for over a year.

  • Watson could still be suspended by the league. To use a recent example, Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension in 2017 even after criminal domestic violence charges were dropped.
  • NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is "closely monitoring" the situation, which "remains under review of the personal conduct policy."
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