Mike Florio reacts to Deshaun Watson's lawyer aggressively firing back at Tony Buzbee

WATSON WATCH

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reacts to Tony Buzbee and Rusty Hardin firing verbal shots at one another on Thursday, and tries to read between the lines and lay out what's really going on from a legal perspective.

Florio believes that Hardin has a good reason for their unusual request to have the financial terms of possible settlement disclosed to the public. Typically, a lawyer in Hardin's position would not want the terms of the settlement to become public. In many cases, people find out about big payouts and want to get a piece of the action by filing their own lawsuits whether their claims are legitimate or not.

So Watson's camp must not be worried about that becoming a problem. Which makes Florio think the payouts being discussed with these cases must not be as much as many people anticipated, which could cause the public to view Deshaun in a more favorable light. The thought being, what he did must not have been that bad because Watson's accusers are willing to take such a small amount of money. Therefore, Watson's side wants people to know he didn't pay out big money.

And conversely if that information is kept quiet, people will assume big checks are being scratched by Watson to protect his image. Quite the move by Rusty Hardin if you think about it. Rusty Hardin's bold strategy has Florio thinking Watson's camp is very confident about their case. Despite claims on Thursday that neither side is looking to settle, Florio believes a settlement is coming at some point.

Be sure to check out the video above for the full breakdown.

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Welcome back, Justin! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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