One lingering question amid Deshaun Watson trade rumors is whether the quarterback would even be able to play for his new team.
Watson is facing at least 22 allegations of sexual misconduct, which has been a major factor in the reluctance of many teams to trade for the Houston quarterback. NFL policy gives commissioner Roger Goodell to take action against players even without criminal charges, be it via suspension or placement on the exempt list. Given the substantial allegations against Watson, there has been speculation that the NFL may feel the need to take action if any team seeks to play Watson in a game.
According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, however, that is not likely to be the case. As long as Watson is not facing any criminal charges, the NFL is likely to allow Watson to play. This stance is known across the league, though some are skeptical that the NFL will hold to it if and when a trade takes place.
Watson has the right to block any trade. So far, there is only one team he’s prepared to go to. If that team believes the NFL’s stance, it could accelerate trade talks ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline.