Troy Vincent on Deshaun Watson situation: “This is not good for anybody”

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Since the issue first emerged more than a month ago, the league office had remained publicly silent on the controversy surrounding Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. On Saturday, NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent broke that silence during an appearance on FOX Sports Radio.

“I’m just praying for the young man, personally, today,” Vincent told LaVar Arrington, Plaxico Burress, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. “I’m praying for him and his family. I’m praying for the young ladies that have come out. This is not good for anybody, forget the sport.

“But I think we’ve learned that every situation’s different. They’re delicate. You make sure that folks, whether it’s the accuser, the victim, whoever it may be, that there’s a due process in place. And I think we’ve learned that over time, not that we’ve rushed in the past, but I think we’ve learned from the different cases that we’ve seen with this particular subject matter, let the due process take care of itself, then that’s up to Lisa [Friel] and her team to now make the proper recommendations to what direction the Commissioner and the Commissioner’s office should take.”

Friel quickly launched an investigation, by sending a supposedly confidential letter to attorney Tony Buzbee, who then posted it on social media. At least two of Buzbee’s clients reportedly are willing to speak to Friel as part of her investigation.

There are different kinds of due process in situations like this, from the civil case to the criminal case (if one is pursued) to the league’s internal investigation. The league decided in the aftermath of the Ray Rice debacle to no longer defer to the handling of the situation by the criminal process. With Watson facing 22 civil claims of sexual misconduct, it’s unclear whether the league will wait for those cases to be resolved before taking action against him.

One thing Vincent didn’t address is the looming possibility that Watson will be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list while these 22 civil cases work their way through the justice system. The sheer number of claims makes it very difficult for the league to do nothing, if these cases are still pending when training camp comes around.

So even though Vincent became the first person from the league to speak publicly about the Watson situation, there’s still plenty more that needs to be said and done before anyone will know when and if Watson’s football career will continue before the 22 civil lawsuits pending against him are resolved, either by settlement or verdict.

37 responses to “Troy Vincent on Deshaun Watson situation: “This is not good for anybody”

  1. Until there are “official” workouts, the league should defer anything. Optional? Let him come or not come at his choice. He doesn’t want to play there, so he will not show up. Waiting until training camp gives the league more time to fact gather. Since he doesn’t want to play for Houston, he probably won’t show up for training camp (at least the beginning of it), so they have yet more time. Defer any punishment until the start of the season to see what Watson does.

  2. He has to be put on the commissioner’s exempt list now. He never should have put himself in this position. Period.

  3. I think Deshaun Watson should be allowed to do all nfl tested things until he is found guilty.when that happens then he should be suspended without pay..if Houston doesn’t want him there too bad he has a contract ..they can cut him and pay him $150 not to play..what is complicated ..it doesn’t look good right now but he hasn’t been convicted of anything YET

  4. It is good for Watson’s lawyer. He is going to get paid no matter what. It may not be good for the lawyer representing the women because he is almost certainly working on contingency fees, and that means if he does not win the lawsuits, he does not get paid. If he wins, he will get paid a lot because contingency plans will result in the lawyer getting a ion’s share of the money that the plaintiffs will win, if they win.

  5. The Texans need to just move on and cut their losses. Trade him for a bag of pop corn at this point.

  6. My prayers are for the 22 women who had to file lawsuits and face the fire, plus the 1 who withdrew hers out of fear, plus the 1 from the SI article who did not file, plus the 5 whose cases weren’t strong enough to file. Those 29 are in my thoughts today, and however many more there might be. Personally.

  7. So we now have absolute evidence that the NFL Commissioner’s Office knows about the allegations. Other than that, not much else is gleaned from the Captain Obvious statement.

  8. It doesn’t hurt me in any way, it just reinforces my dislike for the NFL. Yes, I do still watch one team play, but it ends there.

  9. IF nothing changes between now and training camp, and Goodell is planning to place Watson on the exempt list at that time, he should just do it now.

    If not, then Goodell should wait until the legal process plays out.

    Make up your mind, Goodell.

  10. ThumbsdowntoTouchback6 says:
    April 25, 2021 at 2:40 pm
    Innocent until proven guilty.

    ———

    It’s a civil suit not a criminal trial

  11. Of course he’s thinking and praying about him. If my cash cow was seriously threatened, I’d be thinking and praying about it too.

  12. Thoughts and prayers sounds a lot better than “my bank accounts and stock portfolio.”

  13. But if he pays money it all goes away, right? That’s what Antonio is trying to accomplish. Sad world where money literally gets you a free pass to do things the rest of us would be in jail for.

  14. Texans should draft a rookie QB. And try to move up for one. No way Watson plays a full year . Dude should be traded as soon as they are able

  15. We all know if this was a lineman or some DB the Texans would have just broken him off months ago but it’s not. It’s the goose laying the golden eggs in Houston’s world.

  16. I’ve never liked that the NFL punishes players before due process has taken place, criminally OR civilly. And I don’t like that even in the absence of charges or a civil verdict, the league imposes costly discipline. The personal conduct policy is so broad that it can be interpreted to include anything.

  17. It’s an ongoing investigation, what exactly did you people think he’d come out and say. I think if you read between the lines, by Vincent saying “it’s not good for this young man”, truly says a lot. This could get far messier than the mike Vick dog fighting scandal.

  18. The Texans shouldn’t be at fault for this so make a decision sooner rather than later so they can make a decision on what to do at qb

  19. “This is not good for anybody”
    ————————————————
    Tony Busby would disagree with you. He’s going to turn this into a whole new career. And then a book deal. Probably a movie.

  20. eaglesmancave says: “I’ve never liked that the NFL punishes players before due process has taken place, criminally OR civilly. And I don’t like that even in the absence of charges or a civil verdict, the league imposes costly discipline.”
    ——————–

    The players are still paid while on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

    But more importantly, the NFLPA and majority of players all agreed to it under the CBA. Including Deshaun Watson when he signed his contract.

  21. maxamili says: “Dude should be traded as soon as they are able”
    ———————

    You do know another team needs to be on the other side of that trade, right? What team wants this lawsuit baggage as well as the remaining $140m contract?

  22. springfield says:
    April 25, 2021 at 4:26 pm
    But if he pays money it all goes away, right? That’s what Antonio is trying to accomplish. Sad world where money literally gets you a free pass to do things the rest of us would be in jail for.

    ———-

    How exactly does one go to jail in a civil proceeding?

  23. When is this saga going to end? The victims need relief. Just settle these lawsuits and compensate them because it is near certain that Watson is guilty of what the victims claim. If it can resolved in civil lawsuits, he needs to pay whatever they ask and be done with it and move on. But, if it is proven that he is criminally liable, then he needs to face jail time and pay for the offense. Nobody really knows at this point, but I would like this resolved one way or another in a fair, equitable manner to the victims.

  24. My grandfather would tell us kids…. Don’t want to get your shoes muddy, don’t walk in the gutter. Not to mention, nothing good happens after midnight. Simple and good advice.

  25. I’m interested to know if the “confidential letter” is a fact or just following the pattern we have seen when Buzbee is described here.

  26. “But I think we’ve learned that every situation’s different. They’re delicate. You make sure that folks, whether it’s the accuser, the victim, whoever it may be, that there’s a due process in place.

    sounds nice maybe this needs to apply to all incidents that occur in football or in life.

  27. A lot of people seem to forget that there is no “innocent until proven guilty” in the NFL. The Commissioner has broad authority to punish players as he sees fit, regardless of what’s happening outside the league. His primary guiding principles in this are whatever the letter of the CBA allows him to do and whatever he thinks is best for league PR. When this gets ugly enough in the national media, he’ll act. If it remains isolated in sports media, he’ll delay as long as possible.

  28. deshawn is a problem .. his football career will trend down .. he’ll be 26, needs to learn a new system, will slow down year after year – with less quickness he a sitting duck. Due to his legals, he is distracted and will get hurt. Houston will not play him, or pay him. I wonder what his plans are after football?

  29. HOW did it get to 24 women? Shouldn’t something have been said after a couple if they were so hurt?
    What looks bad tho is players r supplied massages therapists by the team. D.Wat found his on Instagram.
    BUT, TRUST ME, if the girls get paid it’ll all go away.

  30. D.Wat’s reputation was too good to be true. U NEVER heard a bad word til this. Gave his paycheck to lunch ladies, etc.
    He’s such a talent.

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