The blast radius of the Deshaun Watson saga is now engulfing his former team as the quarterback awaits a potential suspension.
The Houston Texans have been officially added as defendants in the civil trial against Watson.
“Today we filed the first case of what will likely be many against the Houston Texans related to Deshaun Watson’s behavior,” said Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing a group of women who have accused Watson of sexual misconduct.
“Suffice it to say, the overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson’s behavior is incredibly damning.”
- 20 of the 24 massage therapists represented by Buzbee have reached confidential settlements.
- The Texans helped arrange many of the massages and provided Watson with a nondisclosure agreement following an accusation by one woman.
- Lead detective Kamesha Baker testified that Houston police investigated 10 reports related to Watson’s behavior, and she has no doubt a crime occurred.
Federal judge Sue L. Robinson, who is serving as the disciplinary officer in this case, is set to determine Watson’s punishment for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The NFL recommended an indefinite suspension of at least one year. Any appeal from Watson or the NFLPA would be judged by league commissioner Roger Goodell or someone appointed by him.
The way the Cleveland Browns structured Watson’s contract may shield him from a financial hit from a potential suspension: His five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract pays him only $1 million in the first year. His cap hit rises from $10 million in the first year to $55 million thereafter.