Deshaun Watson will report to training camp. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com observes, Texans quarterbacks are reporting to the team today, and Watson will be with his fellow signal-callers (Twitter link).
Watson, of course, is embroiled in civil litigation thanks to the sexual misconduct and sexual assault lawsuits that 22 different women have filed against him, but it’s presently unclear if Watson and the plaintiffs are close to a settlement. And, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets, no criminal charges are imminent either. So even though there was a belief that the NFL would step in and park Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt list if and when he reported to camp, Garafolo believes the league will simply monitor the situation for now.
Another veteran NFL reporter, Josina Anderson, has the same understanding. Anderson’s sources say the league will wait for official findings from Texas authorities before taking any action of its own (Twitter link).
Despite the maelstrom of controversy surrounding him, Watson remains adamant that he wants out of Houston (though as ESPN’s Ed Werder tweets, no rival clubs have asked Watson to waive his no-trade clause as of yet). However, since holding out of training camp would subject him to unwaivable $50K daily fines, it was expected that the three-time Pro Bowler would show up as required.
This is a unique and complicated situation for rookie head coach David Culley and rookie GM Nick Caserio. Having commissioner Roger Goodell step in and declare Watson temporarily ineligible would help to bring a little normalcy to training camp, but it doesn’t sound as if that will be happening (at least not before practices begin). So Culley will be tasked with handling the Watson matter while also trying to get free agent acquisition Tyrod Taylor and top draft choice Davis Mills ready to go for the start of the season.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com hears that the Texans have moved on from Watson and are prepared to go forward with Taylor and Mills, unless Watson’s presence at the team facilities somehow leads to a reconciliation (Twitter link).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.