As of last week, it was believed that the grand jury eventually handling the criminal complaints against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson could conclude its work by late October. A new report suggests otherwise.
A.J. Perez of FrontOfficeSports.com writes that it’s “looking more unlikely” that the criminal probe will end before the November 2 trade deadline.
As worded, that’s a bit vague. If it was previously looking incredibly likely but now only marginally likely, it technically would be “looking more unlikely.” Regardless, we’ll interpret the comment as meaning that, for now, it’s not expected that the grand jury will reach a decision as to whether to indict or not indict Watson before the trade deadline.
Perez adds that “there’s still a chance” that Watson could be traded without a grand-jury decision. Most teams want to wait for the criminal case to conclude. At least one team, per Perez, is open to trading for Watson before then.
That team, based on our own reporting, would be the Dolphins. As previously mentioned, the Dolphins were talking to the league office in an effort to gather insight as to whether Watson, if traded, would land on paid leave. For now, the league hasn’t decided whether to place Watson on the Commissioner Exempt list because the Texans are already paying him to not play. The moment he’d be traded, the league would then have to decide whether to intervene.
The Dolphins ultimately weren’t scared off by the possibility of paid leave but by the asking price from the Texans, who refused to bend in their desire for three first-round picks and two second-round picks. (One source believes the Texans want four first-round picks and two second-round picks from Miami.)
For now, Watson continues to be on the team but not really part of it. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported over the weekend that they’re keeping him away from the other players. In six weeks and five days, he’ll either be sidelined for the rest of 2021 with pay or he’ll be part of a new team.