The league calendar now has a two-minute warning for NFL teams that wish to trade. The deadline for trades is November 2, which is usually when the rumor mill works non-stop. This season is no exception. However, one trade could be bigger than all the others Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Wilson potentially moving to Miami Dolphins.
After it became clear that Watson no longer wanted to play with the Texans, Watson was the most desired player in the NFL. After allegations of sexual misconduct against massage therapists grew, the enthusiasm to acquire him quickly waned. He is currently being sued by 22 people. His criminal investigation has also begun, though no charges have been brought.
Recent reports indicate that Watson is still interested in trading with the Dolphins and would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. This is just one aspect of the Watson situation that has drawn criticism and questions.
Watson has not been given any formal punishment. Tyrod Taylor has been injured and Davis Mills III has started at quarterback. Watson has yet to play in an NFL game this season. His legal status is in uncertainty, so many people wonder why Watson hasn't been placed on the NFL Commissioners Exempt List. NFL Networks Rich Eisen asked Ian Rapoport that question on NFL Gameday.
Rapoport responded that according to the most recent personal conduct policy, players can be added to the commissioners exempt lists if they are charged with a felony, or violent crime. At this time, it does not appear to apply to Deshaun.
This is in line with the NFL's recent decision to sign another star player. In 2019, the NFL did not place Antonio Brown, the current Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver, on its Commissioners Exempt List. A civil lawsuit was filed by a woman Brown had known since college. She claimed that Brown sexually assaulted her in several instances, including when he ejaculated on his back and forced her to lie down on a bed and raped him.
Brown was suspended for eight games in 2020's season. However, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Networks, it was for an assault and battery case in which Brown pleaded not guilty to. The story also had to do with two Sports Illustrated stories. One was about an artist claiming that Brown made unwanted sexaul advances toward her and another alleging that he sent her incendiary text messages shortly after the first story was published. According to the NFL Network report Pelissero stated that Brown's civil case for sexaul assault was still pending, and that further discipline could be imposed.
Brown has been spared any punishment since.
Watson is the latest victim of sexual assault allegations against Watson by the NFL. Watson is not being added to the commissioners exempt listing, which basically means that the player must stay away from the team while still getting paid.
The NFL seems to think that the accusations of forced rape and forcing a penis into someone's mouth are not violent enough for them to say, "Please just go away for awhile."