NEW YORK -- It doesn't sound like Deshaun Watson's playing status, the most talked about topic in the NFL, will change anytime soon.
At Tuesday's league owners meeting, Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, stated that they don't have enough information on 22 civil lawsuits involving Watson alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct to make a decision about potential discipline. The information that they do have isn't enough to convince Watson to be placed on the exempt list.
Goodell stated that "Obviously, the police are investigating and we don’t have all of this information at this time." "We take pride in not interfering and being as cooperative as possible in order to get all of the facts. That process is ongoing, I believe."
Watson, who is bound by a no trade clause in his contract has told the Texans that he does not want to be traded and will not play for them again. Since the beginning of training camp, Watson has been coming to the team facility every day. However, the team has decided to keep him on the inactive roster for each of the seven regular-season games.
Although the Texans have made contact with several clubs regarding a possible trade for Watson's services, interested parties have been hesitant about meeting Houston's asking prices due to uncertainty surrounding Watson’s legal situation and potential discipline by the league.
It is not clear if Watson would be eligible to play for the new team if he was traded during this season or if the commissioner's offices would intervene. At this point, it appears that Watson and the Texans have reached a mutual understanding, which makes any suspension or use on the commissioner's exempt lists unnecessary, even if necessary. The league would need to decide whether to trade him. It sounds like it, based on Goodell's Tuesday statements.