Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who's facing 22 lawsuits alleging acts of sexual assault and misconduct and 10 criminal complaints, reported to training camp on time this week only to avoid daily holdout fines while the franchise engages in preliminary trade discussions.
And although Texans general manager Nick Caserio told reporters at camp on Wednesday that Watson's arrival and presence hasn't been a distraction to the team, JR wholeheartedly disagrees.
"One of the best quarterbacks in the game was somewhere where he didn't want to be, where the team didn't want him, because they don't want him near the quarterback group," JR said during Wednesday's JR SportBrief show. "They don't want him taking the reps. They also don't want him getting hurt -- in case these issues do clear up and you can actually trade him. And if I'm the Texans, why the hell do you even have the guy on the field? Put him on leave.
"Okay, you have to go through these investigations and you need to wait for the legal system to go through its own process. But that doesn't mean he needs to be there... Why is Deshaun Watson on the field if they don't want him?... Why are the Houston Texans putting anybody in this situation? I'm pretty sure if they said to Deshaun Watson, 'Hey, just stay home, we're going to put you on leave,' I don't think Deshaun Watson would say no. I don't think the NFLPA would say no. I don't think the NFL would say no."
On Tuesday, the NFL released a statement regarding Watson's legal situation, saying that the league's investigation "remains ongoing and active," and that they're not restricting Watson's participation in team activities at this time. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could still place Watson on the exempt list, which would keep him from playing but allow him to get paid until his legal matters are resolved.
Watson is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and carries a $15 million cap hit. Last September, the 25-year-old agreed to a four-year, $156 million contract extension that could possibly keep him with the Texans until 2025.
JR's complete thoughts on Watson and the Texans can be accessed in the audio player above.