Bears Out on Deshaun Watson After Sexual Assault Allegations?

Although the recent dream-trade attention in the Chicago Bears world has been focused on Russell Wilson (and they’re still holding out hope!), his was not the first top-tier name to hit the theoretical trade market this offseason. In fact, it was Deshaun Watson who was the pipe dream long before Wilson, and he was also the guy who seemed far more likely to be traded, since he’s all but said he flat out won’t play for the Texans again.

But the hopes of landing Watson faded because (1) the Texans have continued to be resolute in saying they will not trade him (and reportedly aren’t even taking phone calls), and (2) even if that’s just a negotiating tactic, everyone knew the price tag on Watson would be historic. The Bears simply do not have the trade capital to match other potentially interested teams.

Now, though, there’s a much more serious reason to doubt the Bears would be pursuing Watson in the coming weeks. The 25-year-old quarterback, who’d otherwise had a pristine off-field record, has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by multiple massage therapists in civil suits. An attorney representing the plaintiffs has reportedly claimed there could be upwards of 22 victims.

Watson responded to the initial report of a single claim last week, though he has not spoken further as the volume of claims increased last week (via Twitter):

“As a result of a social media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me. I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this isn’t about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn’t about money for me — it’s about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.”

The process will play out, and although there are no criminal charges filed at this time, that remains a possibility. Furthermore, the NFL is investigating the allegations to determine whether Watson violated league policy. That is to say, even if you could ignore the ugliness of the allegations, you would also have to deal with the potential ramifications of a suspension (and the fallout thereafter of your franchise quarterback being a guy who was suspended for sexual assault).

That said, it’s possible that Watson will eventually have his name cleared. You want to believe women who come forward in these situations, and you also want to ensure that there is an opportunity for a clarity in information on both sides. Watson deserves the opportunity.

In the meantime, though, it’s very hard for me to see any team giving up organization-altering trade capital to acquire Watson and his four-year, $156 million contract until there is more clarity on the situation.

… yet there are several teams reportedly still interested. Per the Houston Chronicle, which quoted a number of anonymous executives, the interest is still out there while teams monitor the assault allegations. Moreover, the report listed six teams as still interested in trading for Watson, according to sources: the Eagles, the Panthers, the Jets, the Dolphins, the 49ers, and the Broncos.

Noticeably missing there? The Bears. A team everyone otherwise knows would desperately love to acquire a franchise quarterback.

Maybe it’s an omission tied to the lack of trade capital. Maybe it’s an omission tied to the Bears’ very public pursuit of Wilson. Or maybe it’s an omission because, in the current moment, the Bears are not going to seriously pursue Watson while these sexual assault allegations are lingering out there.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more bears news

While We Wait For Bears First-Rounders to Sign, Michael Penix Jr. Inks Rookie Deal With Falcons

We are adding Michael Penix Jr. to the list of first-round picks from the 2024 NFL Draft who have signed their rookie contract. It's officially official, via the Atlanta Falcons: https://twitter.com/AtlantaFalcons/status/1805330900206633370 ESPN's Adam Schefter has it as a four-year contract...

Moving to Arlington Heights is Still a Possibility For the Chicago Bears

Even when plans for a new Bears stadium project were focused on building in downtown Chicago along the lakefront, there was a part of me that knew not to eliminate the possibility of the team still ending up in the...

Who Will Be the NFL’s First $60M Quarterback?

Since the start of the NFL's new league year in March, we've seen Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, and Trevor Lawrence sign monstrous deals. Cousins' came in free agency, while new paper for Goff and Lawerence came by way of extensions...

Braxton Jones Scored the Bears’ First Win vs. the Packers in Forever

The Chicago Bears haven't recorded a head-to-head victory against the Green Bay Packers since Dec. 16, 2018. That comes out to 2,017 days (and counting) if you're keeping score at home. So, yeah, I'm going to take whatever win I...

Mongo, Teven, Waldron, New Packers President, and Other Bears Bullets

The most fascinating thing I read over the weekend was this piece from Justin Tinsley, who does tremendous work at ESPN and elsewhere with storytelling that is rooted in culture and sports. His latest — asking 'Where does Drake go...

Where Did All the Cool Nicknames Go? And Other Bears Bullets

I have lunch plans with a friend, so a light breakfast ahead of today's set of Bears Bullets will have to do. There are 77 days until the Chicago Bears kick off their 2024 regular-season slate of games against the...

New Look Offensive Line, Drafting DJ, Sanders, Schefter, and Other Bears Bullets

Today would've been my mother's 62nd birthday. I miss her lots. For obvious reasons. And for some less-than-obvious reasons. She wasn't a big football fan, but she'd watch the Bears with me. I think she would've been intrigued by Caleb...

DJ Moore is Finally Getting His Flowers

Let's close shop on a Friday while riding a high note. I was pleasantly surprised to see where Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore landed on Jarrett Bailey's list of the NFL's best wide receivers. Bailey's power rankings, which you...

Arlington Heights is Playing the Long Game in Its Pursuit of the Bears

A Chicago Bears electronic billboard can stay a little while longer in its Arlington Heights home. Is this a (literal!) sign of good will? Perhaps. Despite passing legislation banning that type of advertisement, the Arlington Heights Village Board voted 8-1...

The Bold Steps the Bears Took to Sign Keith Randolph Jr. as a UDFA

Every year, everyone in the football community digs through the dregs of each roster in search of an under-the-radar prospect or underdog tale. For the Chicago Bears, that player might be Keith Randolph Jr. — a defensive tackle who the Bears...

Latest News

Today’s Copa America 2024 Predictions, Picks and Odds – Tuesday, June 25

With multiple games on Tuesday's 2024 Copa America schedule, let's take a look at the betting odds for each match.We break down the betting odds for all the important games today below.Head to Fubo to watch the entire Copa America...

Where to Watch Denmark vs. Serbia: UEFA European Championship 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

On Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00 PM ET, Denmark (2 points) and Serbia (1 point) meet for each side's final match in Group C at the 2024 UEFA European Championship.This game will be airing on Fox Sports 1.Watch the entire...

Where to Watch England vs. Slovenia: UEFA European Championship 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

England (4 points) and Slovenia (2 points) meet on Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00 PM ET in the third game of Group C action at the 2024 UEFA European Championship.You should head to FOX in order to see this match.Watch...

Padres vs. Nationals: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The San Diego Padres (41-41), led by Jurickson Profar, host C.J. Abrams and the Washington Nationals (38-39) on Tuesday at 9:40 PM ET.Keep reading to see how to watch the San Diego-Washington matchup in the article below.When is Padres vs....

Dodgers vs. White Sox: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

In a series opener on Tuesday, Bobby Miller will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers (48-31) against Chris Flexen and the Chicago White Sox (21-58), with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET at Guaranteed Rate Field.The article below will...

Angels vs. Athletics: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

Taylor Ward and the Los Angeles Angels (30-46) host JJ Bleday and the Oakland Athletics (29-51) on Tuesday in a series opener, with first pitch at 9:38 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Los Angeles-Oakland matchup...

Connor McDavid Wins the Conn Smythe Trophy — on the Losing Team

After producing a historic 42 points (8 goals, 34 assists) in 24 games -- breaking Wayne Gretzky's playoff assist record -- Oilers superstar Connor McDavid won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's most valuable player. https://twitter.com/PR_NHL/status/1805437656936935880 Before tonight, only...

How to Watch Royals vs. Marlins: Live Stream or on TV

The Kansas City Royals (42-37), who will give the start to Seth Lugo, host the Miami Marlins (27-50) with Yonny Chirinos on the hill, Tuesday at 8:10 PM ET.The article below will give you everything you need to know to...

How to Watch Brewers vs. Rangers: Live Stream or on TV

The Milwaukee Brewers (45-33), led by William Contreras, host Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers (37-40) at 8:10 PM ET on Tuesday in a series opener.If you're planning on watching this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options for...

Twins vs. Diamondbacks: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

In a series opener on Tuesday, Carlos Santana and the Minnesota Twins (43-35) face Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks (38-40), with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 PM ET at Chase Field.Keep reading to see how to watch the Minnesota-Arizona...

more bears news