Deshaun Watson still wants the Houston Texans to trade him. The investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him by 20-plus massage therapists remains ongoing. And thus, the quarterback faces an uncertain future.
However, Watson is expected to report to Texans headquarters on Sunday, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Watson will go through COVID-19 testing at team headquarters, which is required before the start of training camp later this week.
By not showing up Watson would have faced a mandatory fine of $50,000 a day. So, he essentially will save himself money without having changed his stance on his status with the team.
Watson, one of the league’s brightest stars and also one of the highest-paid quarterbacks after signing a four-year, $156-million contract extension last September, concluded his fourth season with Houston, and soon after expressed displeasure with the franchise and the decision-making of team officials following the firing of Bill O’Brien as coach and general manager.
Watson had hoped the Texans would hire Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. However, after reports indicated the Texans gave him the impression that they would consult the star quarterback on the direction of the franchise, ownership instead left Watson out of the loop. Houston went with Patriots front office member Nick Caserio as GM and former Baltimore Ravens offensive assistant David Culley as head coach.
Watson soon after expressed a desire for a trade. But he soon had bigger problems than dissatisfaction with his team. In the spring, two massage therapists accused the quarterback of sexual misconduct – allegations he denied.
But additional women came forward and Watson now faces civil suits from 22 massage therapists. Watson's attorneys have maintained the stance that any sexual interactions between the quarterback and massage therapists were consensual acts.
The Houston police department opened a criminal investigation, but it remains ongoing. The NFL has continued to monitor the situation, but league officials want to wait until the investigations are complete before handing down any kind of punishment.
And so, the Texans and Watson find themselves in an awkward situation. Watson met with Culley this offseason, but maintained his stance that he does not want to play for the team anymore.
The Texans seemingly have prepared to move on from Watson, signing Tyrod Taylor in free agency and drafted Davis Mills in the third round. But the ongoing legal matters make a trade complicated because teams would hesitate to meet Houston’s rich asking price with uncertainty over whether Watson actually will be available to play.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deshaun Watson to report to Texans camp despite an uncertain future