SPORTSMAP ROUNDTABLE

How Watson and Hardin flipped the script on everything we thought we knew

Deshaun Watson and his attorney Rusty Hardin have turned conventional wisdom on its head by fighting against NDAs. This week, we discuss how the move could stand to benefit Deshaun Watson and react to Mike Florio's take on what's really going on from a legal standpoint.

Florio believes that Hardin has a good reason for their unusual request to have the financial terms of a 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, and 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 they aren't trying to keep the alleged victims from speaking out by making them sign NDAs. They seem to be at least be consistent in their stance that they have nothing to hide.

And conversely, if the size of the payouts were kept quiet, people would assume big checks were 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.

Be sure to check out the video above to find out if we're buying what Florio is selling.

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It more of the same from the Houston Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Sunday afternoon provided a high-res snapshot of the state of Houston sports. The Astros, already assured of the best record in the American League, played a game they didn’t need to win. The Astros won, ho-hum, their 104th win of the season.

Meanwhile, eight miles away, the Texans, mired in last place with fan support dwindling, played a game they really needed to win. The Texans lost 34-24 to the Los Angeles Chargers in front of (giggle) 69,071 fans at NRG Stadium. The Texans really ought to stop saying the stands are packed. Every time a team punts, and cameras follow the ball skyward, there are thousands of empty seats on display. I know the NFL methodology for determining attendance, (total tickets sold, no-shows don’t count) but it just looks silly when the Texans announce 69,000 fans.

The Texans came close as usual before sputtering to another defeat. The Texans now stand at 0-3-1, the only winless team in the NFL. It’s the second time in three years they’ve started a season without a victory after four games. It’s telling to note that not one of the Texans opponents has a winning record for 2022.

In other words, the Texans have played four games they shoulda/coulda won. Shouda against the Colts, Broncos and Bears, and coulda against the Chargers.

Should/coulda four wins. Instead, none.

That’s the Texans. They’re in every game but can’t close the deal. Yeah, yeah, on Monday we hear, “the Texans are playing hard for coach Lovie Smith” and “they’re competitive” and “they’re a young team.” These are NFL equivalents of a participation trophy.

Sunday’s loss to the Chargers at NRG Stadium was straight out of the Texans playbook. Fall behind, make it interesting, lose. The Texans stuck to their script, timid play calling, momentum-crushing penalties (nine for 67 yards), self-inflicted drops, lackluster quarterbacking and Rex Burkhead on the field for crunch time. After one play where a Texan player was called for holding, the announcer said, “and he did a poor job of holding.”

Statuesque quarterback David Mills keeps saying “we’re in a good spot” and “we’re improving.” Statuesque as in he doesn’t move – or barely moves to avoid sacks. Sunday saw his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver. He’s now thrown four interceptions in the past two games. Let’s go to the tote board: 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 4 fumbles, 11 sacks, qbr rating 28.5 – good for 28th in the league.

A bright spot, sort of. This was the first week the Texans didn’t cover the spread. They’re now 1-2-1 against Vegas oddsmakers, meaning you’ve won money if you took the Texans all four weeks. They head to Jacksonville next as early 6.5-point underdogs.

Meanwhile, Alabama’s brilliant quarterback Bryce Young, who will be available for the Texans when they draft first in 2023 (as Paul Heyman says, that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler), suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday. The Texans need to take out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on Young.

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