Would Deshaun Watson Immediately Be Eligible To Play If He’s Traded By The Texans? It’s Complicated.

deshaun watson playing status if texans trade him

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  • With the Deshaun Watson trade rumors heating up yet again, the question still remains the same: can he play?
  • Watson is being linked to both the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers in the latest rumors.
  • Be sure to check out more sports stories at BroBible here.

It’s been a matter of when, not if, the Houston Texans trade Deshaun Watson for months now. While we know he’ll be dealt by the Texans, the biggest question surrounding said trade is his playing status whenever he does land with a new franchise.

The Texans put Watson on paid leave as he faces 22 civil complaints alleging sexual misconduct as well as 10 criminal complaints. The 26-year-old has not been charged with any crime, but his future, both from a football perspective and personal perspective is very much in the air.

As it currently stands, a grand jury has not made a decision on whether to indict Watson or not. That outcome is likely still weeks away, while the civil cases, pending settlements, could take months to play out.

The accusations aren’t just going to go away, even with the NFL dragging its feet as long as it possibly can, which is exactly what it sounds like the NFL will continue to do here.

If He’s Traded, Will Deshaun Watson Be Eligible To Play?

According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL doesn’t seem to have a clue how it will handle the Watson situation(s) if he is traded. Your guess appears to be as good as the league’s whether or not he’ll immediately be eligible.

“We don’t know what the decision will be. The NFL doesn’t know what the decision will be. What we know is that the NFL will make a decision when a decision needs to be made,” according to PFT.

“The league has a delicate task when assessing whether Watson will be allowed to play. If he plays, the league will be accused of not taking the sexual misconduct allegations seriously. If he’s placed on paid leave, the league will be accused of shutting down a player who hasn’t been formally charged with any type of crime.”

While Pro Football Talk’s sources seem to think Watson won’t just magically gain eligibility if he’s playing for a different franchise, Ian Rapaport seems to think that if he is dealt, he’ll be able to take the field immediately.

This is all of course pending on the NFL making a decision of its own regarding Watson. The NFL, or the legal system, for that matter, whichever entity makes a decision here first. It’s been reported that Watson could very well not take a snap in the NFL until after next season as well.