One thing we CAN count on over the next couple months is the legal machine beginning to churn publicly again. We will get to the pending schedule for trial milestones in just a minute, but my guess is we may start to hear rumblings of settlements if the Texans find a trade suitor Watson likes. It's worth noting that the Miami Dolphins have reportedly moved on from trying to trade for Watson, and plan to roll with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback in 2022.
Miami, of course, made a heavy run at a Watson trade right before the November trade deadline, but Watson was unable to settle all 22 lawsuits, a requirement from Miami ownership. So we know Watson, under the right circumstances, is willing to settle the lawsuits without going to trial. To that end, the Daily Beast acquired a copy of a Watson settlement offer to one of Tony Buzbee's 22 plaintiffs:
This document came from a plaintiff who rejected the offer of $100,000
Reportedly, a vast majority of Watson's accusers were prepared to settle back in early November, which would have triggered the deal between Miami and the Texans. There were a few that rejected Waston's offer, and this one, complete with name redacted, is one of them. The offer to this particular plaintiff was $100,000, but that doesn't necessarily mean that each offer was that same amount.
Watson is seeking full confidentiality and admits no wrongdoing
This part is interesting because at one point, it was believed that the big reason Watson did not want to settle was because he wanted to be able to tell his side of the story, and that he would not sign a confidentiality agreement. Whatever the case, this particular document zips the lips of both sides, and is very clear that Watson's settling is not an admission of liability or guilt, but instead the settlements are an effort to "buy peace." Okay then!
Watson's deposition schedule begins next month, and it looks brutal
If you've never been through a deposition before, consider yourself incredibly fortunate. Back in 2005, I was a Vice President of Sales for a small telecommunications company, who were the plaintiffs in a huge lawsuit against a branch of AT&T. I had to go through several depositions, not to mention taking the witness stand, and it was BRUTAL. To this day, I get PTSD when I see a courtroom on television, and I sure as hell get PTSD when I see this deposition schedule for Deshaun Watson:
Yikes! And I would imagine it's ten times more anxiety-inducing as a defendant with 22 civil plaintiffs accusing you of some pretty disgusting stuff. That said, Deshaun and his girlfriend, Jilly, seem to be having a delightful time over in Switzerland! Not a care in the world!
Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson alleging sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault, told FOX 26 Sports he has established dates to take Watson’s deposition.https://t.co/zNi2x8fxUz pic.twitter.com/N6LBwEgKvl— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 16, 2022
With Miami out on Watson, who's the new leader in the clubhouse to trade for him?
I still think Carolina is going to make a major run at Watson, as will Denver. Perhaps the new team to keep an eye on is the New York Giants, who check a lot of boxes as a possible trade partner. First and foremost, New York would seem to be a place where Watson, who has the power of a "no trade" clause, would approve a trade to, given the myriad of branding opportunities in a chance to rehab his image. Second, the Giants have the draft capital to intrigue the Texans, as they currently have the fish and seventh overall picks in the 2022 draft. Finally, the Giants have an opening at GM and head coach, which means they could hire a GM looking to make a splash, and a head coach that they know Watson may like, like Brian Flores, who was a big reason Watson wanted to go to Miami, and who has the same representation as Watson.
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