Deshaun Watson is training independently with a private trainer while he and his legal team led by veteran lawyer Rusty Hardin deal with 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct.
Although the Pro Bowl quarterback is still on the Texans’ roster after submitting a trade request earlier this offseason in the wake of leading the NFL in passing yards, he’s not expected to play for the AFC South franchise again.
Texans coach David Culley didn’t express any opinion on whether Watson will attend upcoming organized team activities or a mandatory full-team minicamp scheduled for June. No one involved expects Watson to attend those upcoming activities while he deals with a legal situation that has stalled any trade scenarios, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising how Culley answered questions about Watson on Saturday during a rookie minicamp. He referenced general manager Nick Caserio and Texans chairman and chief executive officer Cal McNair’s previous comments, which included a letter to season ticket holders from the McNair family.
“We have nothing to say about that situation at this time,” Culley said. “Cal and ownership a few weeks back indicated about how our organization feels about the situation. I think when Nick mentioned that he also mentioned that the legal process is in effect right now and we’re going to respect that and go from there.”
McNair and his family previously stated in a letter that the Texans take the allegations “very seriously” and "are deeply troubled by any form of abuse."
“We want to take this opportunity to address the complaint filed with the Houston Police Department and the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson," the letter stated. "We want to assure you that we take these allegations very seriously. As reported, HPD and the National Football League are conducting investigations and we will cooperate fully. We respect the legal process and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
"While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault. Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior. We will continue to commit resources to help prevent abusive behaviors from occurring in our community and ensure respect for all."
The Texans have effectively moved on already from Watson at the quarterback position, signing veteran Tyrod Taylor, drafting Davis Mills in the third round and trading for Ryan Finley.
In March, Culley indicated that Watson was the Texans’ quarterback and emphasized that he was under contract.
When asked Saturday if he anticipated Watson being with the team at any stage of the offseason, Culley replied: “I have nothing to say about that at this time.”
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128