Deshaun Watson is still in limbo. His request to be traded has yet to be granted by the Houston Texans. He is still embroiled in legal proceedings from the civil suits filed by over 20 women accusing the star quarterback of sexual assault and harassment. The NFL is investigating that situation and may put him on the Commissioner's list before the season begins. He's at training camp but hasn't taken a preseason snap or done anything meaningful during practice. We're less than a month out from the start of the regular season and there doesn't seem to be a resolution in sight for any of the above issues.
Meanwhile, the NFL has been doing its rollout of the yearly Top 100 Players list heading into 2021. Watson earned a spot on that list with his play last season despite the putrid record his team put forth. He ended up No. 18. Each selection is announced with a video highlighting their best attributes and (usually) a few teammates and opponents speaking to their skill on the football field.
Watson's video was released yesterday. There are no other people in the video. Just highlights of Watson with a narrator, who addressed the situation... poorly.
It begins with "Nobody knows when Deshaun Watson will take the field again. His future is uncertain. But his talent is unquestioned." The video ends with "The skill is no mystery. Almost everything else... is."
I mean, come on, man. I don't know if there really is a way to address what's going on while lauding his skill as a player, but this missed the mark.
The writing team for these videos were obviously put in an unenviable spot. Watson wasn't going to get taken off the list because it was established months ago and eliminating him would change the previous 82 spots. People would have noticed if they just skipped the announcement for No. 18. They cannot condemn or praise him because the legal proceedings are ongoing. It is difficult to somehow address reality while keeping it about football.
This wasn't the right answer to that problem, though. There very well may not be a right answer. But if the NFL team wanted this to avoid becoming a headline, they failed.