Saints among frontrunners in Deshaun Watson trade talks as lawsuits loom
NEW ORLEANS - Several reports suggest the Saints are making a strong offer to obtain Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was forced to sit out last season amid a flood of sexual misconduct allegations.
The Saints and their NFC South rivals, the Carolina Panthers, are among the first teams to make offers for the embattled NFL star. A grand jury opted not to indict Watson last week after a sexual assault investigation stemming from allegations by more than 20 different women.
Reports said the Texans are seeking a hefty return for their former franchise quarterback, including at least three first-round draft picks. Watson had asked to be traded from the team just before the accusations surfaced in early 2021, and the team benched him for the entirety of the season.
Notes:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2022
1. Yes, the #Saints can fit him under the cap.
2. The #Texans will work with Watson and grant permission for him to speak with teams with real offers.
3. The #Panthers have been interested for a year and have never waivered https://t.co/Dc3p9rvMGp
Lawsuits from Watson's accusers contained a slew of disturbing allegations, including claims he exposed himself or kissed them against their will during massage appointments. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.
Watson's lawyers admitted that "some sexual activity" took place during appointments but maintain their client never coerced anyone.
Though jurors did not find sufficient evidence to formally charge Watson with a crime, an attorney representing 22 women who filed lawsuits said the civil case is still heading to court.
“The civil cases will continue to gather steam. We take Mr. Watson’s deposition again Tuesday. Respect the process,” attorney Tony Buzbee told the Associated Press on Friday.
No trial date has been set related to the lawsuits.
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