The Deshaun Dilemma
Last time we saw Deshaun Watson on the football field he was considered a top five quarterback in the NFL by most fans and pundits. Watson was so good that being on a bad team didn't rub off on his reputation as an individual player. Spectators and fellow players felt bad for Watson as he tried to carry the Houston Texans on his back.
JJ Watt apologizes to Deshaun Watson (Photo via the Houston Chronicle)
Watson was viewed as one of the good guys of the NFL, even had future hall of famers like JJ Watt apologizing to him for "wasting" a year of his career. In the 2020 season, Watson threw for 4,823 yards, which led the league. He also completed 70.2% of his passes, while throwing 33 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. Watson's efforts were not enough to get wins as the Texans finished the season with a record of 4-12. This is back when the NFL played a nice, even, sensible, 16 games a year.
Little did we know, this would not be the last season of Watson's career that was "wasted". So after the 2020 season, it was brought to light that Deshaun Watson wanted out of Houston and was willing to be traded. To the right location of course. Again, at this time Watson was thought of as one of the good guys of the NFL. So his trade request was not met with disgust or push back. In fact, it was mostly embraced by the fans with a few people saying he should "honor his contract".
Things changed quite quickly as after the trade demand was made public, Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by a few woman who he received massages from. Then a few turned into 8, then 8 turned into twelve, then twelve turned into eighteen and eventually twenty plus woman. Understandably trade interest from other teams was halted with the unsure future of Watson.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovaloa and former Dolphin Head Coach Brian Flores (photo via CBS Sports)
Even with all this hanging over Deshaun Watson, his talent and youth still had teams interested as last season went along. The Miami Dolphins were interested for sure as there were reports that the owner was willing to pull the trigger on a trade. If Watson was willing to settle the civil cases against him out of court. Watson was not willing to do that and has maintained his innocence throughout this entire ordeal. It now seems like the Dolphins will go forward with Tua Tagovaloa as their starter but the organization has not always been 100% behind him but that's another article for another day.
Last week Watson was cleared of all criminal charges attached to the sexual misconduct accusations. This doesn't mean that he is innocent or guilty, it means there was not enough evidence to move forward with a criminal case. The civil suits are still pending. As soon as Watson was cleared of criminal charges, the flood gates opened and a lot of teams have shown serious interest in making a trade for him per reports.
One of the teams interested per reports, is the team that I root for, the New Orleans Saints. Last season the Saints finished the season 9-8 with no stability at the quarterback position. Jameis Winston started the year at QB for the Saints and played pretty well until he tore his ACL. After that it was a rotating door at QB that including Trevor Siemian, Taysom Hill, and Ian Book.
If the Saints were able to land Watson without gutting the roster, they would be an immediate SuperBowl favorite. So as a Saints fan, my motto is fuck them picks. If it takes 18 first round picks to get Watson, give them all 18. Now of course I am exaggerating but you get the point. Also we believe in normalizing cuss words here at the 3rd and 3 podcast, sorry I didn't warn you.
I didn't even think about the pending civil cases and I feel bad for not feeling bad. Again, I am not assuming Watson's guilt or innocence. There is definitely a lot of smoke here and with smoke there is usually fire. That's the popular saying but I have said for a long time, "With smoke there isn't always fire, sometimes there is somebody in the back with a smoke machine." We don't know what exactly happened.
Is it weird to receive personal massages from more than 20 different woman? Yes! It is definitely excessive, if not outright weird but that doesn't mean he was breaking the law and violating these woman in the process. Also doesn't mean that he didn't violate these woman. So, how should I feel as a fan of a team who needs a QB and could get Watson. Part of me feels bad for not feeling bad.
If the Saints get Watson, I am going to jump for joy and not think twice about those woman. Does that make me a bad person? Does that make me an asshole? Or does it make me just like every other sports fan?