With criminal investigation still pending, Deshaun Watson fails to delay testifying in civil case

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
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With his criminal case unresolved and his civil cases developing to the point at which it otherwise would be time to question him under oath in a deposition, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has a problem. Anything he says while testifying in the civil cases can be used against him in the criminal case.

As a result, the lawyers handling the 22 civil cases went to court on Monday, squabbling over whether Watson’s deposition will be delayed until the criminal case is resolved. Radio host Mike Meltser, an attorney, posted updates from the proceedings on Twitter.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women who have sued Watson for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions, wants to proceed with the questioning of Watson, regardless of the status of the criminal cases. Attorney Rusty Hardin, who represents Watson, wants to delay the process until after the criminal process has ended. Hardin said in court that he expects a grand jury to conclude its work by April 1.

The presiding judge found a middle ground. For those plaintiffs who have filed criminal complaints, Watson will testify after April 1. For all other plaintiffs, he’ll testify when Hardin is available. (Hardin currently is handling a trial in a different case.)

That’s not ideal for Watson. The things he says while being questioned in the cases filed by plaintiffs who haven’t made criminal complaints could be used by the prosecutor in the other cases, if the prosecutor so chooses. Moreover, Watson’s testimony could prompt the prosecutor to exercise the broad discretion inherent to the job in a way that results in an attempt to secure an indictment on one or more felony charges.

The timeline also makes it harder to trade Watson before other teams begin making decisions about who their quarterbacks will be for 2022. The best seats could be filled before the criminal process ends.

There’s one more important point to keep in mind. Watson doesn’t have to settle all of the cases at the same time. He could try to settle the cases that don’t include criminal complaints, if he wants. However, Buzbee and his clients now have even more leverage, since settlement of those claims becomes the ticket to delaying being questioned under oath until April 1, at the earliest.

20 responses to “With criminal investigation still pending, Deshaun Watson fails to delay testifying in civil case

  1. The biggest mistake Watson made was not hiring Goddell and the NFL legal team, all these cases would have resolved with Watson most likely receiving damages and a presidential commendation

  2. If he really wants to get traded and play in 2022 he would try to fast track the cases by settling or going to trial to clear his name. IMO there’s only one reason he wants a delay.

  3. Watson is now willing to go to any team he can go full blown (no pun intended) stockholm syndrome.. as long as they have a thriving adult entertainment industry in the city.. he will not make the same mistake twice.. unless there are contract negotiations.. and then.. look at the binders..

  4. Watson is scheduled to be paid 35m next season by the Texans. Perhaps he might find it best to pay each of the plaintiffs one million dollars, pocket the remaining 13m, and move on.

  5. cobrala2 says:
    February 21, 2022 at 5:04 pm
    If he did nothing wrong what is the problem with testifying?


    In all likelihood he is taking the advice of his attorney…. It’s probably the first smart thing he has done

  6. These two attorneys love the sound of their own voice, and their name in print. So, until something new really occurs I’m checking out on this it’s never ending and repetitious.

  7. If he wants to play in the NFL, he needs to take a plea bargain in the criminal cases and settle the civil cases out of court. He would likely end up with a year long suspension, but then it is over. He is risking everything by going to court.

  8. He’ll just plead the Fifth on the 9 cases in March and then wait until April for the criminal investigation to conclude and then the real stuff begins.

  9. LIke Trump he will have to plead the 5th so why not get it over with. Anything you say can be used against you in the criminal trial. Love to see him do time. do da crime do da tyme

  10. Robert Kraft didn’t go to jail and he still owns the Patriots. Watson won’t go to jail and he will still be a quarterback in the NFL

  11. No way his lawyer lets him testify before the criminal cases are resolved. A better question is why is the criminal investigation taking so long. We have a series of he said/she said cases. File charges or go home.

  12. OJ Simpson is still in the NFL hall of fame while losing his civil case. Watson didn’t murder anyone

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