In a court room on Friday March 11th, in Houston, the District Attorney’s office of Harris County Texas, presented evidence to twelve-person grand jury, making their case for over six hours. The evidence presented was based on ten criminal complaints by women in the Houston area that said that Watson acted inappropriately during massage therapy sessions.
The behavior allegedly ranged from exposing himself, touching therapist hands with his penis, and sexual assault.
The Grand Jury was presented with nine cases, and after rejecting charges for nine, a tenth case by the Prosecutors office was not presented, the indications were that the jury was not swayed by the evidence and would not charge for the tenth case either.
While the case as with all Grand Jury cases, it was held behind closed doors, but we do know that jurors were shown videotaped interviews of the women who filed charges against Watson. Several of the women who were involved in these cases showed up to the courthouse to be ready to testify, ultimately only one of the women testified.
Now that the legal hurdle of criminal charges is out of the way for Watson, there are still twenty-two civil lawsuits that are pending, and many teams that were cautious about pursuing Watson are now loading up trade offers now that they know he will not be facing criminal charges.
Prior to the civil lawsuits, Watson was complaining about the noise and drama on the football field with the Texans. Bill O’Brien had been fired, the team finished 4-12 in Watson’s last active year, and a religious counsel that works with the team was one reason that Watson did not want to stay with the Texans.
The Texans in the last two or three seasons have traded off one of the best receivers in the NFL, in Deandre Hopkins, JJ Watt a long-time defensive stalwart of the Texans was also sent away.
Watson was also not enamored by the fact that the Texans are influenced by Jack Easterby, a man who went from Team Chaplain to a team Executive. Easterby came over from the New England Patriots, and some would say that his quick rise to power in the Texans organization has cause some chaos within the building.
One of the main results of this chaos was the team’s franchise player Deshaun Watson wanting out, just after signing a long-term deal.
Watson is great young quarterback entering his prime years, he will be a highly sought-after target on the trade market. The Houston Texans are asking for three first rounders to start the bidding, but Watson has a no trade clause and will not go anywhere he does not want to go.
The teams I expect to be in on the bidding for Watson
Philadelphia Eagles – They have a quarterback (Jalen Hurts) to send back to Houston to help them rebuild as well as three first round picks in the 2022 draft.
Seattle Seahawks- They have newly found draft capital after trading Russell Wilson
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – After being a Super Bowl winner and contender the past two seasons they might now be ready to go back to rebuilding just yet.
Miami Dolphins – Miami has a ready-made defense, and they were interested in trading for Watson but wanted his legal issues to be resolved first, with criminal charges not coming, this maybe enough to entice the Dolphins to make a move.
Stay tuned to this space for more updates on the Deshaun Watson saga.