One potential stumbling block of a Deshaun Watson trade: whether Deshaun Watson can actually play.
Due to his current legal issues — Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions, as well as 10 criminal complaints — the NFL has the ability to place the quarterback on the commissioner’s exempt list, which is paid leave.
According to Pro Football Talk, that decision has yet to be made. And it won’t be until it has to be.
The Texans have put Watson on paid leave for as long as he’s still a member of their franchise, but are trying to trade him. This week, though, reports linked the Dolphins to Watson. Presumably, the Dolphins would like Watson to be able to play for them if such a deal were made.
Watson hasn’t yet been charged with a crime, but could be indicted by a grand jury. The outcome of civil cases could be up in the air for months.
What that means as far as Watson’s availability isn’t clear, and may not be until the issue is forced. If and when it is, though, the league will have to make a decision.
For now, the league’s plan seems to be to wait, and hope the situation resolves itself before the NFL is forced to do so.
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