Potential coordination between Texans, Tony Buzbee doesn’t mean there was a conspiracy

Gov. Rick Perry in Texas Court
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Speculation continues to ricochet regarding the possibility that the Texans and Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee were in some way in cahoots regarding the flood of litigation that quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing.

The talk was largely muted and whispered until Buzbee decided to address at a recent press conference the “silly rumors” suggesting a link to the team.

There continues to be no direct evidence of collusion or coordination or communication of any kind. Perhaps the best circumstantial evidence, in my opinion, comes from Buzbee’s over-the-top effort to deny even knowing the first name of Texans owner Cal McNair. Common sense, as it relates to the way that cases like this typically are handled, suggests that there possibly was some degree of advance communication between Buzbee and the Texans before the first of 14 lawsuits (and counting) were filed.

Buzbee is a prominent lawyer in Houston. He ran for mayor. He posted a billboard in 2014 urging his neighbor “Mr. McNair” to draft Johnny Manziel. Buzbee surely knows that Cal McNair owns the Texans, and Buzbee surely knows people who work there.

It doesn’t require a conspiracy theory to show coordination or communication. It doesn’t mean the Texans wanted to see Watson taken down, or that the Texans instigated the cases. In situations like this, the lawyer will often make phone calls before filing suit, either as a courtesy or out of curiosity. Buzbee surely knew that there was rancor between Watson and the Texans. Buzbee would have nothing to lose by calling someone from the Texans as part of his broader due-diligence effort. The Texans, if someone from the team said anything to Buzbee, possibly didn’t know the depth of the problem. The Texans possibly were frustrated by the corner into which they’d been painted by Watson and his camp.

Tony Buzbee here, a phone call like this could have gone. Can we talk off the record? I’ve got a potential client who tells a strange story about getting hired on Instagram to give Deshaun Watson a massage. Deshaun apparently thought it was more than a massage, and he apparently crossed the line. You ever hear about anything like this? You got any concern or problem with me filing this lawsuit? By the way, there could be others.

Buzbee’s not dumb. Even if he wouldn’t have refrained from filing the first lawsuit if the Texans had asked him not to do it, there’s value in asking questions — especially if Buzbee gets the right person on the line. Under the guise of giving the team a head’s up, Buzbee potentially could have learned something that he could have then used to his advantage.

But here’s the problem. Going “off the record” only goes so far when neither party to the call is a journalist. If, at some point, someone has the power and the prerogative to investigate the matter, neither Buzbee nor the Texans would be able to conceal the communications.

As a practical matter, the chances of that happening are slim. Who would have the jurisdiction or the power to delve into those communications? Watson has far larger problems at this point than whether Buzbee called the Texans before filing suit, and whether that happened has no relevance whatsoever to the pending civil lawsuits.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of discussions. When, however, all parties involved do everything they can to paint a picture that Buzbee didn’t talk to the Texans before proceeding, any evidence that such talks happened will prompt the average person to assume that the Texans had a far bigger role than merely receiving advance notice of the looming lawsuits or possibly providing some basic information to Buzbee.

So, basically, I’d bet that advance communication happened. I’d bet that the Texans did nothing to instigate or fuel these cases. And, most importantly, I’d bet that there will never be evidence to show that advance communicated occurred.

14 responses to “Potential coordination between Texans, Tony Buzbee doesn’t mean there was a conspiracy

  1. If these lawsuits were for millions or even hundreds of thousands it would give a motive for Buzbee. the fact that these are for a few hundred bucks, means Buzbeen is doing this pro bono, which means the only benefit is to take down DeShaun Watson, which also benefits Bob McNair who doesn’t want to trade Watson, but doesn’t want Watson to have any power to demand a trade in the future. Destroying his reputation in Houston would certainly accomplish that.

    Whether Watson actually did wrong is irrelevant to why Buzbee is doing this. It’s smear 100%.

  2. If its true that the Texans are trying to throw their qb under the bus to keep him in the fold by colluding with Buzbee, and I’m not saying it is, I cannot see how any free agent would want to sign with the Texans in the future as long as that front office is in place. That’s some really dirty pool right there.

  3. Potential coordination between Texans, Tony Buzbee doesn’t mean there was a conspiracy……
    Doesn’t mean there wasn’t either.

  4. Somebody want to explain to me, how this wasn’t a big deal, until Watson wanted out of Houston and made it public? If this has been going on for years, they why did it not come out before this? There is just something very strange about all of this!

  5. “which means the only benefit is to take down DeShaun Watson, which also benefits Bob McNair who doesn’t want to trade Watson, but doesn’t want Watson to have any power to demand a trade in the future.”

    —————–

    1. Bob McNair passed away over two years ago. I don’t believe that he cares one way or another about this situation.

    2. What benefit does a team accrue from the face of their organization being accused of over a dozen counts of sexual assault? It ruins his trade value and publicly it makes the organization look bad for keeping him around.

  6. But look – whether the Texans had anything to do with this is irrelevant. Either Watson did what he is accused of, or he didn’t. If he did – he’s got a lot more to worry about than what the texans may or may not have done.

    And what do the Texans have to gain by potentially supporting fraudulent claims against Watson? That’s not going to want to make him play for them. And distressing an asset destroys any trade value they could have gotten for him. And the potential pettiness of it (if they were involved in advancing a fraudulent claim) – will impact their ability to attract free agents, and would in all likelihood have the NFL step in and remove them from ownership.

    I realize that there are a lot of people (especially Watson) who have a lot to lose here – but it seems highly improbable that the Texans are involved with this.

  7. as was stated, tearing Watson down, makes Watson untrade-able and eliminates any future leverage to want to trade him. Remember the Texans don’t WANT to trade him. they want him committed to the Texans for life fully obedient. Buzbee is clearly helping the Texans get what they want.

  8. larrywhighamwasunderrated says:
    March 23, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    I cannot see how any free agent would want to sign with the Texans in the future as long as that front office is in place.

    ———————

    The Texans have just signed a whole bunch of free agents. All while Watsons’s status is up in the air. Football players, for the most part, aren’t sanctimonious people. If they are, then the looks on their faces must be :O

  9. larrywhighamwasunderrated says:

    I cannot see how any free agent would want to sign with the Texans in the future as long as that front office is in place.
    ———————————-
    The Texans signed 30 free agents in the past 2 weeks. They have signed the most in the league.

  10. This is a ridiculous notion. First off, the Texans as an organization have more to lose in all of this than Watson himself.

    1. They McNair’s risk losing the entire organization and be forced to sell it.

    2. The McNair’s risk millions, possibly their entire fortune in lawsuits.

    3. They lose all trade value with every lawsuit that comes out for a player that does not want to ever play for them again. This to the point of having to give him away, when they could easily trade him on draft day and bring in a king’s ransom.

    4. Watson will see considerable suspension time over this and the breach in covid protocols. So he won’t play even if they manage to keep him on the team.

    I doubt very seriously, they risk all that they have and own just to smear the reputation of one player and make him look bad so that he has to play for them. NO player in the history of the league is worth losing your franchise over. NONE!

    With a loud carnival barker type attorney dealing with possible escorts, there is absolutely no way the McNair’s would risk this coming back to them in ANY way.

    I don’t like Easterby and I think Cal is a Tommy Boy owner that inherited an empire. BUT, neither are brave enough to cross Janice and risk losing everything in an ATTEMPT to keep Watson on the team.

  11. I don’t understand. Why do people think that Houston wants to ruin the monumental trade haul that they were guaranteed to earn from trading him? This would demolish that. Now, if someone trades for him, they won’t offer half of what they would have before because there’s a chance he will be indefinitely suspended by the NFL in relatively short order. This is shooting themselves in the foot if they had a hand in this.

    Or are people assuming that the Texan’s angle was that being disgraced would make Deshaun want to stay in Houston and play at the same level he was previously?

    Even the only plausible reason to think the Texans had a hand in this barely makes sense.

    But there’s a Darwin Award for a reason, so the idea that Texas would do this is not impossible either…

  12. 50Stars says:
    March 23, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    The Texans signed 30 free agents in the past 2 weeks. They have signed the most in the league.
    ____________

    All signed prior to the rumor that the front office was connected to the lawyer, using this scenario in order to retain Watson.

    At this point though, its just a rumor. Bad thing is if two people know a secret, then soon the whole world will know.

  13. Thoughts the Texans are in any way responsible for this are just crazy. It would be a case of them “cutting off their nose to spite their face!”

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