When Texans coach David Culley last spoke to reporters, podcast quotes had just emerged from the first-year coach indicating for the first time that the team was willing to trade quarterback Deshaun Watson. During the press conference, however, Culley tried to put the toothpaste back in the toothpaste holder.
All of that happened before the first of 22 lawsuits were filed against Watson. In Culley’s first media session since the days before the flood of litigation commenced, Culley sang a far different tune about Watson.
Asked by reporters on Saturday whether Culley expects Watson to attend mandatory minicamp or OTAs, Culley didn’t offer the usual, “Well, the OTAs are voluntary, so it’s up to the player” response. Instead, Culley declined to talk Watson.
“We have nothing to say about that situation at this time,” Culley said. “Cal [McNair] and ownership a few weeks back indicated about how our organization feels about the situation. I think when [G.M.] Nick [Caserio] was on not long ago, he mentioned that he also mentioned that the legal process is in affect right now and we’re going to respect that and go from there.”
Asked again whether Culley expects to see Watson as all this offseason, Culley said, “I have nothing to say about that at this time.”
Culley’s comments come after several days of legal maneuvering that seemingly emerged in the aftermath of failed efforts to settle the 22 cases. The lawyers are fighting over whether the terms of any settlement will be kept confidential, with Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, insisting that nothing should be made secret. Buzbee, according to Hardin, wants everyone to be muzzled.
The lawyers also are fighting over which lawyer moved first in trying to initiate settlement talks. Objective evidence obtained by ESPN.com suggests that Buzbee’s team made the first move.