Houston Texans Agree to Settle 30 Claims with Former Quarterback Deshaun Watson’s Accusers

by Patrick Norton

Deshaun Watson’s impact on his former organization continues its treacherous spiral. While the quarterback faces a disciplinary decision from the NFL regarding 24 civil suits claiming sexual misconduct, his former franchise reels. Less than a month after the filing of the first lawsuit against the Houston Texans for enabling Watson’s behavior, the team announced plans to settle with 30 women claiming abuse.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted the original statement from the plaintiff’s attorney Tony Buzbee on Friday afternoon.

Buzbee points out, “Only one of the thirty women who made allegations against the Texans filed a formal lawsuit. That particular lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice as soon as the appropriate settlement paperwork is complete.”

The attorney also acknowledges Houston’s proactive response, comparing the settlement to the shortcomings of Watson’s Cleveland Browns. Buzbee says, “There is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so.”

Rapoport also shared the franchise’s owners’ response in a screengrab published on Twitter.

The McNair Family highlights, “This is not an admission of any wrongdoing.” However, while the settlement prevents official judgement in court, it doesn’t prevent a trial by the court of public opinion.

But the Houston Texans’ decision to settle begins the process of shedding Watson’s wrongdoings from the image of the organization. While unforgiven, without Watson’s presence in this year’s training camp, attention shifts to the on-field product.

While Saga with Texans Reaches End, Uncertainty Still Surrounds Watson and Cleveland Browns

We still don’t have an answer. NFL and NFLPA jointly appointed disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson holds the cards in the matter. Commissioner Roger Goodell promised to follow the recommendation from Robinson, but two weeks following the hearing’s end, a disciplinary decision remains unknown.

When the Cleveland Browns dealt quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers at the beginning of the month, some speculated the franchise might have an inkling as to the official determination. However, as days pass, it appears that thought is inaccurate.

As training camp approaches so does a likely public release of findings and subsequent punishment decision. Whether the Browns dodge a bullet and start Watson in Week 1 – or instead differ to backup Jacoby Brissett – is unknown. However, the longer a disciplinary decision drags out, the longer Cleveland sweats its offseason decision-making.