Momentum builds towards Deshaun Watson’s Miami business


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The window closes in nine days. There’s always a good chance that at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 2, the Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be a member of the Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, as we’ve known for weeks, really wants Watson. Watson, as we’ve known for months, really wants the dolphins. And so, while Tua Tagovailoa “Is our quarterback,” Watson probably will, if not probably.

That said, a source familiar with the dynamics of the Dolphins organization says the trading position for Watson is not unanimous. Ultimately, however, the oligarchs tend to get what the oligarchs want.

The two teams couldn’t reach a deal, in part because the Dolphins didn’t want to give the Texans what they wanted, and because the Texans didn’t want to give the Dolphins any protection against the legal issues creating problems regarding the availability of Watson. It looks like, in order to get Watson, the Dolphins will have to give the Texans what they want.

And legal issues remain, in the form of 22 civil complaints and 10 criminal complaints. Criminal complaints will ultimately be presented to a grand jury; at this point nothing can be done to prevent this from happening. Civil complaints can be settled at any time. Earlier this year, a potential settlement failed on the issue of confidentiality. This implies that they had reached a general agreement on the amount to be paid to the 22 complainants. Indeed, there is no need to haggle over confidentiality if there is a deadlock over money.

The settlement of the cases would also allow the league not to place Watson on the list of exempt commissioners. While criminal complaints are still pending, the league would find it difficult to justify paid leave for Watson if he was not formally charged with a felony.

While the personal conduct policy is broad enough to allow the league to do whatever it wants when it comes to putting a player on paid leave, much of the public pressure over the decision to let Watson play would disappear if he settled civil matters to the satisfaction of his 22 accusers.

This is not a report on what will happen. It is an analysis of the facts and circumstances that have been lying around for months. With nine days until the ability to trade Watson evaporates until March, don’t be surprised if that happens.


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