It's assumed the biggest reason Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson remained with the club through Tuesday's trade deadline even though he's not playing for the team following his offseason request to be sent elsewhere is that he's still facing 22 lawsuits alleging acts of sexual assault and misconduct and 10 criminal complaints.
Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the women suing Watson, suggested in an interview with Fox 26 Tuesday night that the quarterback's legal team wanted to settle the cases so that Watson could've been traded before the deadline.
"In what was submitted to us, there were nondisclosure agreements and many of the women pushed back on those," Buzbee explained, per John Barr and Sarah Barshop of ESPN.
Buzbee added at least some of the women refused to sign NDAs even after he and partners reworked their wording "substantially."
"Now that the heat is off I probably won't be getting calls from the other side wanting to settle the case," Buzbee said, referencing Watson's unchanged status past the trade deadline.
Buzbee also said Watson's attorneys, led by Rusty Hardin, were interested in potentially settling some of the 22 civil cases before Tuesday afternoon. "But based on the terms that were submitted to us, we weren't going to get 22 settlements. Period," Buzbee said.
Hardin didn't respond to a request for comment from ESPN.
Assuming the cases aren't settled beforehand. Watson is set to be deposed in February.
"From my point of view, I'm looking forward to taking Mr. Watson's testimony in February," Buzbee added.