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Deshaun Watson not traveling with Texans for preseason opener

As the lawsuit process approaches for Deshaun Watson, teams are holding off on trading for him from the Houston Texans and Mike Florio explains what the process may entail.

The awkward dance continues between the Texans and quarterback Deshaun Watson.

G.M. Nick Caserio told SportsRadio 610 in Houston that Watson won’t travel to Green Bay for the preseason opener on Saturday.

Caserio added that there’s been “a lot of speculation” and “a lot of moving parts” regarding the Deshaun situation. Caserio is right; speculation has run rampant in large part because Caserio has installed a Belichickian cone of silence in Houston, with scant information about where things stand with Watson.

Of course, no one expects the Texans to admit their broader strategy. What’s currently clear (or at least seems clear) is that they’ve tried to trade him, that they want too much for him given the “moving parts” of his legal situation, and that they now hope to find a way to keep him in the fold while waiting for the legal situation to resolve and for the door to open on a potential trade package that will give the Texans what they want.

The question becomes whether Watson will actually play for the team again. He practiced on Monday, for the first time in a week. And news of lingering injuries could become a precursor to stashing him on injured reserve unless and until he decides he just wants to play, regardless of whether it means playing for a team for which he no longer wants to play.

Hovering over all of this is the possibility of paid leave. That’s tied to the inevitability (in the opinion of Watson’s camp) a grand jury proceeding. If he’s indicted on one or more felony charges, Watson undoubtedly will be sidelined by the NFL pending the outcome of the criminal case.