(SportsRadio 610) - Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges related to sexual abuse allegations made against him, a Harris County grand jury decided Friday.
The grand jury returned nine "no-bills" for the complaints against Watson, meaning he will not be indicted. A prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney's Office said this concludes the criminal proceedings in Harris County.
Watson's attorney Rusty Hardin released the following statement after the grand jury's decision:
"We are delighted that the grand jury has looked at the matter thoroughly and reached the same conclusion we did. Deshaun Watson did not commit any crimes and is not guilty of any offenses.
"Now that the criminal investigations have been completed, we are happy to move forward with the civil case depositions. We will vigorously defend those cases with every ounce we have.
"There were no crimes here but there is a plaintiffs’ attorney churning up negative press and churning up his clients hoping for a pay day. These cases have been the product of a lawyer maximizing his own personal publicity at the expense of others, including his own clients.
"It is time to let Deshaun move on."
What does it mean for Watson and the Houston Texans, both of whom would like to orchestrate a trade for the quarterback?
With the criminal element eliminated, teams will be more likely to trade for him, as the uncertainty has held up those discussions over the past year.
Watson is still facing 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of various levels of sexual misconduct, but this could clear the path for a possible trade by the start of the new league year March 16.
An NFL spokesperson said the league has been closely monitoring all developments in the Watson cases, which is still under review under the conduct policy.
Watson has not played since the end of the 2020 season, when he was the NFL's passing leader. But he was not suspended or disciplined last year, rather agreeing with the team that he would not play.
Brandon Scott is the senior digital content coordinator for SportsRadio610.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandonkscott .