With Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson back in the fold (for now) and the team trying to trade him but wanting way too much given his current circumstances, Watson’s lawyer has shared with ESPN some of the details about Watson’s current circumstances.
Via John Barr of ESPN.com, attorney Rusty Hardin said that 10 women in all have filed criminal complaints against Watson. Two who have filed criminal complaints have not filed lawsuit against Watson. This increases the total number of women alleging that Watson committed misconduct to 24.
“We’re fully cooperating with the police,” Hardin said. “We’re fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s office and, when the criminal investigation is over we’ll fully cooperate with the NFL.”
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women suing Watson, also provided a statement to ESPN on Monday.
“As of today, almost half of these women have given sworn statements to the police, and almost half have spoken to the NFL’s investigative team,” Buzbee said. “Both processes are very lengthy. We expect to provide further information to the NFL from all victims.”
Hardin reiterated his longstanding position that any settlement could not include a confidentiality provision.
“I do not want anybody to be saying that this guy paid off women to stay quiet and so, if there ever was a settlement of any kind, it would have to be public and therefore both sides, [Watson] and the women, would be able to say to the world at large whatever they wanted,” Hardin said.
It’s hard not to think that Hardin’s candor is aimed at getting the Texans to drop their price (supposedly three first-round draft picks and then some) to reflect the various uncertainties regarding Watson’s status. He could still be placed on paid leave. He could still face criminal charges. He could still lose anywhere from one to 22 trials.
Indeed, Hardin made it clear that he believes teams are ready to do a deal, in light of all current circumstances.
“Teams are ready to jump now if the Texans would trade with them, even while all this is pending,” Hardin said. There’s no question that teams, numerous teams, are still interested. The ball is in the Texans court.”
The onus is on the Texans to drop their price. If they do, perhaps the Broncos or Eagles or Dolphins (or someone else) will bite.