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Deshaun Watson Will Not Face Criminal Charges

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs

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Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges, KHOU's Molly Baker Cuculich reports.

Watson faced 22 active civil lawsuits accusing him of coercive and lewd sexual behavior and participated in a deposition at his attorney Rusty Hardin's office on Friday (March 11).

"Grand jury does not find enough to criminally charge DeShaun Watson. Nine accusations- none were found to be criminal," Cuculich tweeted.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport shared a statement from the Harris County District Attorney's Office regarding the grand jury's determination Friday shortly after the initial report.

"After a Harris County grand jury was presented all the evidence and had the opportunity to hear from all witnesses, grand jurors declined to indict Deshaun Watson," said Dane Schiller, said spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office in the statement. "Grand jury proceedings are secret by law, so no information related to their inquiry may be disclosed."

Rapoport reports the trade market for Watson is expected "to ramp up quickly" now that he won't be charged and the quarterback is expected to be cleared for an NFL return before the beginning of the new league year.

The former No. 12 overall pick has a no-trade clause and will want to speak with teams interest in making a deal with the Texans, according to Rapoport.

On Wednesday (March 9), sources told Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson that "up to 10 NFL teams" were reportedly actively monitoring Watson's legal situation with the intention of trading for the embattled quarterback.

Wilson reports the Carolina Panthers are "extremely interested" in trading for Watson, with team owner David Tepper having previously hired an investigator to look into the three-time Pro Bowl selection's legal issues.

The Seattle Seahawks have also reportedly emerged as a potential landing spot for Watson in the wake of trading away Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, Wilson reports.

The New Orleans Saints were also included among the teams monitoring Watson's situation amid uncertainty over Jameis Winston's future with the quarterback continuing to rehabilitate a torn ACL and pending unrestricted free agency, but would need to make some salary cap adjustments in order to acquire Watson.

Watson requested a trade from the Texans prior to the allegations surfacing and later being ruled out of every game during the 2021 season for "non-injury reasons/personal matter," though never specifically being suspended or placed on any reserve list.