It was a little more than a month ago when Rusty Hardin, the attorney representing Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson in the 22 civil lawsuits alleging acts of sexual assault and misconduct, said he'd been approached about settling the cases out of court.
Tony Buzbee, working on behalf of Watson's accusers, has suggested via an Instagram post that no deal is imminent.
"In response to the many queries we’ve received about the Deshaun Watson case: I typically don’t respond to individual press calls, because it’s easier for me to make one statement here. As I’ve said: There will not be a settlement, at least anytime soon," Buzbee wrote. "I have my best people on the case. That should tell you a lot about our intentions. Lawsuits are all about the work in the trenches. My 17 lawyers, under my supervision, are doing the legal grunt work it takes to prepare the cases for trial and another win. I’ve been doing this for many years, and, as the Texas Bar knows, I have rarely lost. And, these are very important cases—these women matter!!—and our team is doing what it takes in discovery and prep to try these cases to a jury. The press folks say we’ve gone 'quiet,' but the truth is we made clear early on that we wouldn’t try these cases in the press and now are doing the important work required for our clients to try these cases to a jury. It’s a lot of work! I would also point out that on a daily basis our firm proudly handles cases for people who have lost loved ones, for people burned beyond recognition, for workers who have had their lives ruined, for people hurt, for people discriminated against, for people wronged, and for people defrauded. Our firm will keep doing that. Thanks for your interest! Stand by."
Watson skipped all voluntary organized team activities amid reports he won't play another down for the Texans and wants to be traded, but his legal situation complicates matters. Even though he still faces no criminal charges as of Friday afternoon, he could be banned from playing for at least a portion of the 2021 season via a suspension or the commissioner's exempt list, and no team can risk making an offer for the 25-year-old without knowing his status for the upcoming campaign.
As has been the case throughout the spring, there remain more questions than answers as it pertains to this subject.