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HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans walks the field during warm ups prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
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Clayton: One scenario forecasts Deshaun Watson missing next two seasons

Ben Maller of Fox Sports Radio came up with an interesting report on quarterback DeShaun Watson. It was a perspective not yet heard in relation to the Texans quarterback.

He projects that Watson might not play football in 2021 and 2022 because of the 22 lawsuits he’s facing for sexual misconduct. His story makes plenty of sense, though no one knows for sure.

As has been reported, Watson won’t be deposed until Feb. 22, 2022. The court systems in Houston are so slow that the next step won’t happen until right after the Super Bowl. Maller projects that trials won’t start until May of 2022. Even though Watson could try to look to settle the cases, his attorney says that won’t happen. The cases could go through June and July of next year.

Maller points out the NFL usually doesn’t go back and utilize “time served” when it comes to suspensions. So if Watson is found guilty next year after the start of camp, the league could suspend him into the 2023 season.

Here is the important point: Watson could go on the commissioner’s exempt list this season, but he will receive his full salary. He’s scheduled to make $10.540 million this year and he gets paid for each game he’s on the exempt list. The Texans could fine him for missing training camp, but they can’t void the guarantees until his contract until he gets a ruling and if that doesn’t happen until next July, he will effectively be on paid leave.

Watson is arguably the fourth or fifth best quarterback in the league and he’s young. If that scenario plays out, it certainly makes it unlikely the Broncos or any other team would make a trade for him. He may be a player to consider, but very little will clear up his status in the near future.