On a day where Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson dominated the NFL news cycle, Deshaun Watson made headlines for an entirely different reason. Eight women who filed criminal complaints against the Texans quarterback have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury Friday, according to their attorney, Tony Buzbee. Watson will also be deposed in two of the civil cases filed against him Friday, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.
Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits and a criminal investigation by the Houston Police Department for alleged sexual misconduct. The first lawsuit was filed on March 16, 2021, and there were 21 more lawsuits filed over the ensuing three weeks. Watson’s attorney has denounced those allegations.
Watson did not play a single snap during the 2021 season, as he was placed on the Texans’ injury report throughout the year. Prior to the allegations, Watson had requested a trade from Houston over frustration with ownership. Lovie Smith, who served as Houston’s defensive coordinator last season, was asked about Watson shortly after being named the Texans’ new head coach.
“I don’t really know Deshaun that way since he wasn’t really involved last year,” Smith said. “Time takes care of a lot of things and time will take care of that situation too, with a favorable situation for Deshaun and us.”
It was recently reported that several teams are willing to trade for Watson despite his ongoing legal situation. Several teams are in the market for a quarterback with about a week to go before the start of free agency and less than two months before the 2022 NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders are two of the teams that are reportedly interested in acquiring the 26-year-old quarterback.
The 12th overall pick in 2017, Watson is a three-time Pro Bowler who helped lead the Texans to consecutive playoff appearances in 2018-19. He led the NFL with 4,823 yards in 2020 before being sidelined for the entire 2021 season.