The Texans didn’t immediately accede to Watson’s trade demand several months ago, and then in March and April came the deluge of lawsuits: 23 in total (22 are active). According to ESPN, at least 10 criminal complaints have been filed with the Houston Police Department. The lawsuits and complaints accused Watson of obscene behavior with women hired to provide personal services, such as massages.
As cases mounted, he did not attend the Texans’ off-season program. Watson’s only apparent incentive to report to the team on Wednesday was not to be fined $ 50,000 for the missing days. Once the Texans franchise quarterback, he didn’t take on first, second or third team reps.
Watson was not made available to media on Wednesday.
“It really hasn’t been a distraction,” said Nick Caserio, team general manager, “and I don’t think it will be a distraction.”
“It wasn’t a surprise,” Culley said of Watson’s decision to report, “so business as usual.”
That’s what everyone in football has allowed Wednesday to be, a normal day. The NFL did not place Watson on the commissioner’s exemption list, a paid suspension for players under investigation by the league for conduct violations. So he joined the quarterbacks in the first row of the stretch period, and he did some ball safety drills, and he bent on one knee, helmet on the ground, his hoodie tight, without anyone around him. The NFL has yet to interview many parties involved in civil matters, and as the league continues to investigate Watson, it has allowed him unrestricted participation in all club activities.
“Each team faces different things, obviously, in the league,” Caserio said, “so we’re no different.”
Not at all, which is why some players were so happy to discuss Watson’s situation.
“I’m not answering those questions,” said wide receiver Brandin Cooks.