October 27, 2021
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell described the Houston Texans quarterback league investigation as “in progress,” and reported on the status of the NFL’s investigation into Deshaun Watson’s alleged field activities. Said nothing.
Watson has been subject to legal investigation in Houston for allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct from 22 women in civil lawsuits.
Goodell said the NFL continues to collect information, being careful not to interfere with ongoing police investigations.
“Obviously, police are investigating and don’t have access to all that information at this time,” Goodell told the NFL Owners’ Meeting on Tuesday. “We are proud to be as supportive as possible to keep track of all the facts without interfering with it. I think the process is still underway.”
Goodell has the authority to place Watson on the Commissioner’s exemption list at any time, or whenever the league decides that his status justifies forcing him away from the team.
The use of exemption lists is not common. Goodell was charged with a felony for his son’s reckless or negligent injury in 2014, when Minnesota Vikings repelled Adrian Peterson and exercised it on the bench. Peterson received a full salary but was locked out of all team activities, including training and practice.
Prior to that, Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) and Jonathan Vilma (New Orleans Saints) were “not on the roster” using duty-free shopping.
If the Texans attempt to take action against Watson’s trade demands, the NFL may intervene and make a firm decision to deactivate him during the investigation.
To date, no league involvement was required. Watson is inactive in all seven games this season, and the Texas have no plans to activate him.
Tuesday is the NFL’s closing deadline, and the Texans are reportedly seeking Watson’s three first-round picks.
Watson has a ban on transactions and has just abandoned it for the Miami Dolphins. Watson reportedly refused to trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Carolina Panthers, meanwhile, is reportedly not pursuing a deal with Watson. The Panthers exchanged for current starter Sam Darnold in the off-season, but put him on the bench in the team’s fourth consecutive defeat with a 25-3 road loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.
– Field level media
Roger Goodell: Deshaun Watson’s NFL Survey “Ongoing”
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