QB Deshaun Watson Will Not Face Criminal Charges, Trade Market To ‘Ramp Up’ Soon

Houston Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges after grand jurors returned nine “no bills” following a Friday hearing. That comes from Jenny Vrentas, who covered the case.

Jurors would have needed nine “true bills” in order for the Texas DA to continue with criminal charges. According to ESPN, Watson could have faced a variety of charges ranging from indecent assault and harassment all the way up to sexual assault, which would have been a felony.

Though Watson still has civil lawsuits pending, the dismissal of criminal charges opens up a path for him to be traded. And right on cue, it sounds like his trade market is about to explode.

While this news will kickstart Watson’s market, he is still likely to face punishment in the NFL in the form of a suspension. It’s unclear how long that would be, but it’s possible he’ll be suspended the first 4-6 weeks of the 2022 season.

The league has already responded to today’s news. They reportedly were not planning to speak to Watson until after the criminal matter had been settled.

Watson’s lawyer has issued the following statement.

As Rapoport and others have indicated, teams have been waiting for Watson’s criminal charges to be resolved before wading into the trade market for him. As we’ve written, the Texans are highly motivated to move him and a trade is likely to take place before Wednesday, the start of the new league year.

Former NFL quarterback Shaun King tweeted Wednesday that if Watson was cleared criminally, he would be on a path to head to the Steelers. Watson has been cleared, so we’ll find out how good King’s source was. Other media members, largely ones who cover the Steelers, have dismissed King’s report.

The Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers are two teams linked to Watson by the national media. While there are many teams who would be interested in a player of Watson’s caliber, most teams do not have the cap space to acquire him. Trading for Watson will also come at a high cost, likely at least two first-round picks. The Texans are reportedly asking for at least three first-rounders.

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