Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said Friday that the team intends to “respect the legal process” regarding the 22 accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against quarterback Deshaun Watson but declined to comment on his status for the upcoming season.
Caserio told reporters that he does not have any further comments on Watson’s legal battle outside of comments already made by owner Cal McNair.
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“I know Cal and ownership put a letter out a few weeks ago relative to the organizational stance, relative to where we are. I don’t have anything to add other than its legal process and we respect the legal process and where that is,” he said, via NFL.com.
“We’re focused on today, we’re focused on getting ready for the offseason program and getting ready for the draft, so that’s where our focus is.”
Watson is facing 22 sexual misconduct lawsuits. At least two of them accuse Watson of sexual assault, including allegedly forcing a woman to perform oral sex on him. A total of 23 lawsuits have been filed but one case was dismissed on Tuesday, according to Watson’s attorney.
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Caserio was asked if Watson would participate in the team’s upcoming offseason program and he said that would be up to him.
“This year is no different, it’s a voluntary program,” he said. “Players have the option to participate in the program. It’s a case by case basis, and each player will make the choice that they feel is best.”
He continued: “Whatever players are here that choose to participate, that’s their choice. And we’re going to create as good of a working environment for the players as possible, so when they come here they feel comfortable and they feel like they’re improving as Houston Texans football players. So that’s what our focus is going to be on.”
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Caserio also declined to offer a contingency plan regarding Watson’s future with the team.
“We’re not going to get into a lot of hypotheticals, a lot of speculation,” he said. “I’m not really good at that. Maybe someone else is better at that than me. If you want to speculate, probably go buy bitcoin and focus on that.”
“We’re going to focus on the things we can control, which is getting ready for the draft and trying to take advantage of the opportunities to continue to add to our team and build our roster. And we’ll just take it one day at a time and focus on the things we can control.”