With Deshaun Watson facing no charges in Texas, an NFL trade looms

On Friday, a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, returned no bills on nine criminal complaints filed against Deshaun Watson. The Texans quarterback still has 22 civil lawsuits pending against him, but the grand jury’s decision, followed by the district attorney’s statement that criminal proceedings are now concluded, means it’s highly unlikely Watson will face charges in Texas.

The decision comes almost a year after the 22 plaintiffs first filed their suits recounting sexual assault and harassment by Watson, including Watson’s exposing himself and forcing the women to take part in sexual acts against their will, during massage appointments.

If misdemeanor charges had been filed, it would have caused real trepidation for teams interested in trading for Watson. Felony charges would have made a deal a nonstarter for just about everyone. With no criminal charges filed, Watson took one more step toward a return to the NFL after more than a year away from the field.

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