What did the Texans know, and what should they have known, about Deshaun Watson’s massage habits?

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Tuesday’s comprehensive article from Jenny Vrentas of the New York Times regarding the Deshaun Watson situation also takes a look at what the Texans knew and when they knew it about Watson’s massage habits. It raises real questions about what the Texans actually knew, and what they reasonably should have known.

Vrentas reports that the Texans arranged for Watson to have “a place” at the Houstonian, where he “used the fitness club, dined there and also set up massages in hotel rooms.” At least seven women met with Watson at the Houstonian for massage appointments.

Watson has testified that, to his knowledge, the Texans weren’t aware that he was getting massages at the Houstonian.

Vrentas also reports that Nia Smith (who sued Watson last week) posted text messages and Cash App receipts from Watson with this warning: “I could really expose you.” Watson has testified that, days after these Instagram posts from Nia Smith, Watson found a nondisclosure agreement in his locker. Watson admitted that Texans director of security Brent Naccara put it there after Watson told Naccara about Nia Smith’s Instagram posts.

Watson also testified that he started using the NDA for massages he received thereafter.

Does this mean Naccara knew that Watson was receiving or seeking sexual activity during massages, or that Watson was potentially crossing the line? No. Does it mean that Naccara, a former Secret Service agent who surely knows how to assess and neutralize all sorts of threats, should have asked Watson some pointed questions and/or given him some candid advice on what should and shouldn’t be done during these massages? Absolutely.

The law calls it “inquiry notice.” You know enough that you should start asking questions. Naccara, by virtue of the fact that he gave Watson an NDA to use during massages, knew enough to start asking some questions.

That said, it’s not easy. NFL franchises have blind spots when it comes to franchise quarterbacks. They don’t want to upset the player. They want to assume the best, not the worst, of the face of the franchise. And Watson, frankly, was widely regarded as the last guy who would have been accused of this kind of thing, before he was.

27 responses to “What did the Texans know, and what should they have known, about Deshaun Watson’s massage habits?

  1. Did the Browns require the Texans to make full disclosure of what they knew of Watson’s activities, and might they possibly have some recourse if the Texans disclosed less than they knew? Wouldn’t mind seeing the polygraph results on, “Not to my knowledge.” If he wanted out of Texas, he’d have a vested interest in protecting his trade value by conspiring with the Texans to stay mum about what was known within the organization.

  2. I think most people operate under the belief that people are good, until they prove otherwise. I also think that many people also don’t ask questions if they do not want to know the answers – ignorance is bliss/plausible deniability.

    Clearly, Watson was able to keep his proclivities “under wraps” for a long period of time. (Yes pun intended). But this is all on Watson. And based on an earlier report of at least 66 massage therapists engaged over a 17 month span, there may be more that we don’t know……

    Clearly he received bad advice to not settle for $100k each earlier. Between the PR hits, legal fees, and cost of settling now – he will be spending much more.

  3. Watson has already admitted that the Texans had no idea on what was going on. It’s a case of your franchise player and star asks for something, you give it to him. If Brady goes to the Bucs and says “Can I get an NDA please” – they’re not going to investigate the reasons why he wants it, they’re going to say “Here ya go Tommeh”.

  4. And Watson, frankly, was widely regarded as the last guy who would have been accused of this kind of thing, before he was.

    Are we sure about this? There were rumors about Watson during his time at Clemson, particularly about the people he hung around with.

  5. NOW you know he was bragging to someone about his conquests… Especially so many…
    It was NOT a secret!

  6. I’m thinking NDA’s are just a way of life for the rich and famous. You want to be a personal assistent to an actor? You have to sign an NDA first. You get hired to do work at a public figures house, not before you sign your NDA. Maybe in this case it was to cover up his weirdness, maybe just standard due dilligence.

  7. this is turning into an episode of ray donovan, with the fixer Naccara going around having women sign nda’s or teaching his client how to do it. why hasnt Nacarra been deposed yet?

  8. The 24th victim has some very damning allegations and it sure looks like Watson is one of those “don’t you know who I am” people that thinks they get anything they want and they think they’re special and the world revolves around them!

  9. Of all the teams that had to be duped it was the Browns!! Jimmy ya gotta stay away from that homeless guy or at least sell the team!!

  10. NDA’s are normally used by companies to keep people from divulging internal corporate information.
    In this case they were used to cover potentially criminal or illegal behavior.
    Think about this: Football teams don’t make players sign NDA’s to prevent players from telling other teams their plays.
    But the Texans were providing them to Watson for things he was doing on his own personal time.
    They knew that something snakey was going on.

  11. htown1035 says:
    June 8, 2022 at 11:01 am
    Watson has already admitted that the Texans had no idea on what was going on. It’s a case of your franchise player and star asks for something, you give it to him.

    Of course we all believe Watson regarding what the Texans knew/did not know.

    I think that we can safely assume that asking for a non-disclosure agreement is not a standard request that occurs regularly. The request itself is enough to put the Texans on constructive notice, regardless of their actual knowledge.

  12. Whatever information the Texans had on Watson’s shenanigans outside of the building pales in comparison to what the Browns learned that prompted them to give Watson $230M fully guaranteed.

    Watson’s behaviors, I think, are on Watson.

  13. If the Texans “provide” Watson with a room, amenities, whatever at the Houstonian, is there ever a point where these extra percs crosses the line and counts against the Cap?
    For years, New England (seemingly) skirted some salary cap issues by hiring Brady’s TB12 to work for the team. I’m not an accountant but when a team provides amenities above an beyond their own facilities, it looks seemingly sketchy, yes? No?

  14. They knew they needed to get that freak out of the building. They also knew they needed to keep it on the downlow so that some idiot would give them the world for his services.

  15. uhohlol says:
    June 8, 2022 at 10:59 am
    They probably didn’t have a clue, or they would have traded him instantly.
    You wouldnt be a little bit curious why a team would want to unload a franchise QB, in a league where the franchise QB is everything? That alone would have lowered Watson’s trade value.

  16. 345 Park Ave. has got to be worried, especially following Watson’s ill advised post, that this mess will hang over the coming season. Imagine Watson spending the whole season telling everyone, at every opportunity, that he did nothing wrong. The media coverage will be crazy.

  17. The Browns have said they did an extensive investigation regarding Watson. Either the extensive investigation reveled Watson issues now coming to light, or their extensive investigation was incomplete, which is on the Browns, either way. Once a team says publicly they have done an extensive investigation, then trades for a player, if something comes to light it is on the team, in this case the Browns.

  18. It’s getting tougher by the day to maintain my neutral stance of letting the man have his day in court. Tawdry, at best.

  19. I wonder if right now Jimmy is saying, “How much did Josh Harris say he’d pay for the Broncos????”

  20. He should stay on the exempt list until all civil cases are resolved ..the NFL will s under no obligation to move quickly ..the browns are only paying him a million this year anyway ..if this stuff com s out the league should suspend for a really long time ..Watson should settle at all costs

  21. The Texans knew enough to cut Watson loose. Everyday that looks like they made a very good decision.

  22. I am not sure this matters at this point. Everyone knows what Watson was doing and up to 4 other teams with actual knowledge still were interested in trading for him, so it’s not just Houston.

    Let’s hold Watson responsible for his own adult actions.

  23. If the Texans withheld or covered up anything about Watson’s activities, maybe the Texans will have to return a draft or 5 to the Browns.
    Watson appears to be, at best, a slime-ball.
    The Texans appear to have either been willfully blind or amazingly stupid, AND deceitful to the Browns.
    The Browns appear to also be willfully blind, or cynically still the disruption is worth the eventual pay-off.

    Of course, from a football perspective only, it will be we “long-suffering” Browns’ fans who bear the brunt of this fiasco.

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