NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shed some light on the Deshaun Watson situation during the league’s fall meeting on Tuesday. The NFL has been conducting an investigation regarding the 22 women who’ve filed lawsuits accusing Watson of sexual misconduct, but the league has yet to decided a punishment for Watson.
Goodell said in a press conference Tuesday evening that the league doesn’t “feel we have that necessary information to place [Deshaun Watson] on the exempt list.”
“Roger Goodell on Deshaun Watson investigation: League doesn’t have access to all the info involved in legal cases, and the league is trying not to interfere,” wrote Lindsay Jones of The Athletic. “Says they don’t have the information necessary for him to make a decision.”
“Obviously, the police have been investigating also. We don’t have all the access to that information at this point in time,” Goodell said. “… We pride ourselves in that and being as cooperative as we can to make sure we get all of the facts. I think that process is still ongoing.”
The quarterback remains on the Texans squad despite trade rumors swirling ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline. He has not suited up for any games this year. Both the Dolphins and Panthers are rumored to be interested in trading for Watson, even though he still faces 22 active civil lawsuits and reportedly 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
Even the FBI interviewed the quarterback in relation to the lawsuits filed.
Watson’s attorney previously said the FBI contacted his legal team earlier this year following public allegations that one of the women suing Watson attempted to extort him.
“In April, the FBI came to us and told us they were investigating a matter as to whether one of Mr. [Tony] Buzbee’s clients had committed extortion in the way they were demanding money from Deshaun or what they would do if they didn’t pay it,” Hardin said in a news conference.