Texans cancel minicamp, delay next chapter of Deshaun Watson saga

As Deshuan Watson’s status remains very much up in the air, the Houston Texans are canceling minicamp.

Head coach David Culley made the announcement Wednesday, a decision that isn’t directly related to Watson’s status. But it punts the ball on the next chapter of the Watson saga that has the Texans quarterback mired in a sexual misconduct controversy amid a request to be traded out of Houston.

According to Culley, he canceled mandatory minicamp after a satisfactory session of voluntary OTAs.

“We’ve accomplished what we wanted to accomplish,” Culley said.

Deshaun Watson's legal and NFL status remain unclear. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Deshaun Watson‘s legal and NFL status remain unclear. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Will Watson play in the NFL this fall?

Watson wasn’t expected to attend minicamp as he remains the subject of civil lawsuits with 22 massage therapists accusing him of varying degrees of sexual misconduct including receiving forcible oral sex. Watson’s legal team has acknowledged that sexual encounters happened but claims they were consensual.

Meanwhile Denver safety Kareem Jackson said on Wednesday that Watson told him he wants be traded to the Broncos. Jackson played with Watson in Houston and has a personal relationship with him.

For now, Watson’s eligibility to play in the fall remains unclear. The quarterback could end up on the commissioner’s exempt list if a criminal complaint around the sexual misconduct allegations don’t make his NFL status a moot point. Watson’s trade request and status with the Texans have become secondary amid the complaints. Regardless, the Texans are avoiding an increased spotlight on the situation by canceling minicamp, even if that wasn’t the impetus of the decision.

The Texans were the second team Wednesday to cancel minicamp with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan doing the same and expressing a desire to give players a break between OTAs and training camp.

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