Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is in hot water after a plethora of massage therapists came out to accuse him of sexual assault during the offseason.
While the long legal process is still in its early stages, one sports radio host is shedding some light on when we might see Deshaun Watson in the NFL next.
“If you look at the timeline on this, barring a drastic sea change, Deshaun Watson will not be playing in an NFL game until at the very minimum 2023,” Ben Maller said this week on “The Ben Maller Show”. “That’s the earliest. If everything plays out the way it’s playing out, he’s going to be done until at least 2023. How did I get to that point? He’s going to be put on the Commissioner’s Exempt List – that’s going to happen likely in the next month before training camp opens up.”
— ON AIR — Doc Rivers/Ben Simmons on 76ers hot seat? Glass half full/half empty for Clippers? Browns Baker Mayfield getting paid? NFL not speaking with Deshaun Watson? Ben Maller Show on FOX till 6am ET. LISTEN: https://t.co/KPqjZ7loHa
— Ben Maller (@benmaller) June 21, 2021
“That means he will be out for the balance of the 2021 season. He will be getting a paid vacation.”
Deshaun Watson is not scheduled to give his deposition until February 2022, and based on the results of the civil lawsuits, the NFL could still be handing down a suspension when it’s all over.
“A trial date would be sometime in May of 2022 and it might not be until early June, which means the trial would go through June and part of July. Training camp opens in July,” Maller said. “The NFL does not give out time served. Which means when the trial happens, if Deshaun Watson is found guilty in the civil court — and remember the standards is much lower in civil court than criminal court — then the NFL has to come back and say, ‘well, bad news, we’ve got to punish him.’”
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The Houston Texans have already filled their quarterback room with Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills, and Jeff Driskel. Deshaun has also reportedly remained firm on his desire to be traded from Houston–if he is eligible to play.
Bottom line: a team is going to have to take a chance on trading for Deshaun Watson while he still has a troubling legal battle going on if we’re going to see him play in the NFL any time soon. I wouldn’t expect any team to take on that burden, even given the star power Watson brings to any roster.
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