The No. 23 Problem

February 17th, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Creepy, sleazy Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson has a well defined issue.

He’s facing 22 civil lawsuits tied to him allegedly being involved in various forms of sexual misconduct, assault, lewdness, etc, in addition to potential felony criminal charges. The mess is tied up in court and it’s at the core of why Watson didn’t play for the Texans last season.

Joe’s lived enough years to know that there very likely is a plaintiff/accuser No. 23 waiting in the shadows.

Often Joe writes that he doesn’t believe in coincidences, especially when it comes to NFL football. And that philosophy would apply here.

So where does that leave the Bucs in their possible quest to trade premium draft picks for the rights to Watson and his big contract?

The Bucs could get creative with a deal with Houston, maybe make the picks conditional and tied to whether other accusers emerge that lead to a league-mandated suspension. Joe doesn’t know the NFL labor agreement rules on something like that, but it seems logical that the potential would exist for such a trade.

Or the Bucs find a quarterback who doesn’t have more baggage than 10 college girls departing for a weeklong cruise.

Joe’s flash poll yesterday revealed that a very slim majority of Bucs fans want to trade for Watson, which is understandable. He’s a great young player at the game’s most important position. Joe suspects the very large minority is wondering when No. 23 will emerge, a situation that could take Watson off the field. Or they just prefer to cheer for players who seem to have a better sense of right and wrong.

Enjoy The Recent Ira Kaufman Podcast

56 Responses to “The No. 23 Problem”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What kind of moniker will Joe give Watson if we sign him?

    Creepy, sleazy, handsy, or did he simply have 22 hassles?

  2. PassingThru Says:

    Does the Watson story have a happy ending?

    Maybe I’m poor at reading the tea leaves, but wouldn’t it have made more sense for the Texans to have tried starting Watson, faced a league suspension of X games, or an entire season? Sitting him in limbo was an escapist move. In worst case, the league could have suspended him pending an outcome, which is exactly the result the Texans achieved by doing nothing.

  3. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Once upon a time AB was a great young player also.

  4. SteveK Says:


    “Wam, bam, thank you, Instagram!”

    Hope he can clear his name and be our QB, but I would not want to trade for him before this is resolved.

    I hope Watson gets another shot, I remember Warrick Dunn sponsoring Watson’s mom for a home for his program to help single moms. I am so proud of warrick dunn. What a great human being and example to all of us on what it takes to rise up and be there for your family. Glad he was a Buc and wish he didn’t have to go the falcons, but all

  5. SteveK Says:

    I remember years ago you were having the drum for Lavonte David, and again later for Chris Godwin.
    Which prospect, if any, stick out to you as another “holy sh*t, Licht better nab this guy”?

    Props to you!

  6. Bird Says:

    Spooge gate

  7. Beeej Says:

    At the rate they’re going his legal issues won’t be complete for another couple of years

  8. Richard Says:

    People really should research Watson….he had been nothing short of a model citizen, player and teammate all his life. He built homes for the poor through habitat for humanity, provided strength and leadership throughout his entire life and then he decided he didn’t want to play in Houston for whatever reason…not uncommon in the NFL. Then , astonishingly, a veteran attorney who is a total die hard Texans fan and long time season ticket holder finds some “accusers” to implicate Watson. I contend that if he did these things he should be punished accordingly BUT ..let’s not assume his guilt before the truth emerges! In the world we live in now it is all too common to assume guilt based solely on allegations. In this case these accusations just somehow appeared after Watson’s dispute with management and obviously pissed off this attorney who organized this entire thing…. innocent until PROVEN guilty!!!!

  9. Wild Bill Says:

    Character matters. The guy is a mess.

  10. PBucs Says:

    For me it’s about him being available to play.
    The last questionable character QB we had got suspended three games to start the 2018 season after throwing to practice squad talent through training camp. … Then he got benched before Halloween. We really don’t need a repeat of that.

  11. Gerinda Says:

    Buccaneers will be on the news 24/7 a week!!!

  12. VSyl Says:

    This is just a bomb waiting to set off. I can’t understand really why some people want this guy here. Yeah, he played well a year ago, but what else? It’s riskier than a lottery.

  13. Bradinator Says:

    Love the player, not a fan of the off the field stuff. Trading for him before his legal issues are resolved is Russian Roulette. I don’t blame him for not wanting to be in Houston, the Texans are a raging tire fire right now. They will want big compensation for him, and not knowing if he will even play next year, is a huge “if”.

  14. Gofortheface30 Says:

    I thought you meant Sean Murphy Bunting. That is also a number 23 problem for the Bucs….

  15. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    3 1st rounders is too much with all the baggage lingering yet he is the real deal

  16. Buc92’ Says:

    How is it so hard for ppl to see , he’s in the clear this will be over feb 23rd. These women were hired by the attorney & owner of the Texans whom are neighbors & great friends. The bucs know this already as they wouldn’t waste man hours negotiating & dealing. None of those skinks went to the police to PRESS CHARGES for a reason. Simply a money grab & attempt to ruin the young Qb who wanted out of that organization. There I said it !!


  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    IMHO, he is more risky than Antonio Brown. All the talent in the world, but way more problems.

  18. T REX Says:

    I bet anyone wanting Watson is also a nole.

    They can stomach that kind of crap.

    Watson will never ever be a Buc.

    The Glazers would never let it happen…ever.


  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Innocent until proven guilty…..22 times

    Jameis got a 3 game suspension for the Uber “hassle”…..& I don’t believe she filed a police report.

    We absolutely have to have a resolution to this before a trade.

    I am not in favor of Watson or Wilson or Rodgers because of the cost. But Watson brings a multitude of PR problems with him.

    Perhaps if the Patriots didn’t draft Mac Jones, Robert Kraft would have some empathy for Watson.

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^ LMAO! Kraft can relate!!!

    I just can’t understand the enamorment with this guy KNOWING all the baggage that comes with it.
    No, of course we shouldn’t expect athletes to all be role models. This is setting yourself up for PR nightmares though. And PR matters. Look at the AB fiasco.

  21. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Richard right on. I do not understand how if Watson is some serial abuser as is alleged then why has no one come out from his days at Clemson or his early days in Houston? They came out only when he stated he wanted out of Houston. AB and even Winston have a trail of them being POS their entire life since they became famous, Watson it started only when he wanted out of Houston

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    Sorry but the more I hear about this Watson deal the more I want to stay away from him…

    If the Bucs get solid intel that this mess should be cleared up and Watson should be playing next season then maybe you take the gamble.

    But then we would have to deal with paying Watson the $40.4 million he is due or restructuring his contract.

    Bucs would be wise to sign as many of the 26 free agents we have and go with Gabbert/Trask as our QBs for one season until all this cap mess is cleared up…

  23. teacherman777 Says:

    Innocent until proven guilty!

    Stop throwing stones!

    Anyone can accuse anyone of anything!

    Watson was clearly the victim of a smear campaign!

  24. Destinjohnny Says:

    How many women came out against him In the end?
    I lost count ?

  25. SufferingSince76 Says:

    We need the draft picks. Do not trade them, especially for Watson. Unless all charges are dismissed, the NFL may drop the hammer on him.

  26. Buc4evr Says:

    Jameis 2.0

  27. Buc92’ Says:

    He’s coming to Tampa , get over it ppl lol ! The glazers want him , they okayed all this duhhhhhhh !!


  28. jerk04 Says:

    Tampa Bay Bucs fan I have been noticing the same thing. Joe think its interesting how you tag watson with those names but when the s cum bag Winston was your buy his situations one being accused of rape and another of assaulting an uber driver were just “hassles” Be consistent on those types of things man. No bucs site has better info than yours but the way you use to defend and explain away Winston issues used to drive me crazy and now Watson gets the full sleazy treatment which may be deserved. Let’s keep it real, gentlemen, Jameis Winston was a member of the Buccaneers, not a guy on another team who just sat out a year because of 22 hassles. Big difference. –Joe

    Just hope you see the hypocrisy on your end there. I know one Joe was a major Winston nut hugger and the other wasn’t.

    Again love your site but hated your defense of Winston with hassles

  29. Roy T. Buford Says:

    We’d think after the constant negative buzz the Bucs got from Winston, and to a lessor extent…Freeman, they’d be done with QB prospects that seem to have off-field controversy follow them around. Do we really want to start every game and sports news story on the Bucs hearing about two dozen allegations against the starting QB who can’t get the endorsement for the most failed products? I believe the Bucs can land a guy who can play as well as not be a societal reclamation project. Yeah, Watson hasn’t been convicted of anything…that doesn’t mean he’s the right guy to be the face of the franchise.

  30. Roy T. Buford Says:

    ^^^^Which is why I think the Watson interest is just a smoke screen. Surely the owners are not so stupid.

  31. Posey99 Says:

    “Buc92’ Says:
    February 17th, 2022 at 9:12 am
    How is it so hard for ppl to see , he’s in the clear this will be over feb 23rd. These women were hired by the attorney & owner of the Texans whom are neighbors & great friends. The bucs know this already as they wouldn’t waste man hours negotiating & dealing. None of those skinks went to the police to PRESS CHARGES for a reason. Simply a money grab & attempt to ruin the young Qb who wanted out of that organization. There I said it !!”

    Spot on

  32. WillieG Says:

    We don’t need another sex offender. Innocent until proven guilty is a legal standard, not a common sense one. You don’t manufacture 22 accusers and convince them to commit felonies by lying under oath.

  33. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Innocent until proven guilty works both ways… can’t conclude 22 women lied about incidents with Watson until they are proven to be liars……and that will be hard to do.

  34. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Signing Brady brought instant respect for the Buc. Watson would be a turd in the punch bowl. He’s too costly to acquire, too expensive too keep, and too much of a risk to take. Take our resources and build a team around Trask and the core of talent we have remaining. We can win the division with the guys we have. Trask has been prepared to succeed at every level. What he can do in the NFL is unknown, but there’s only one way to find out. Licht picked him for a reason, and there had to be a consensus. Build on what we have.

  35. jerk04 Says:

    **** Ok Joe trying to understand your rationale. Is the different that he wasnt a member of the bucs of the number of “hassles” that makes the difference. Not being a di ck just want to understand so I get your POV

  36. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Hard pass on yet another “talented but troubled superstar”

  37. David Says:

    There’s no way you can give up anything until you know what’s going to happen to him legally. If he was just looking for a helping hand and nothing more then grab him… Poor choice of words. If it’s more than that and there are felony charges then forget him.

  38. Craig Says:

    He is another CHOSEN one, we have been there, done that, and had a 7-9 record.

    Watson sat a year, did he lose anything, if not how long before he becomes another damaged, mobile QB.

    Is that before or after he gets two years of disqualification by the league.

    Any of you have daughter you want to explain it to?

  39. Lesco_Brandon Says:

    Trading for Watson is like playing Russian Roullette. Lets assume he is a good citizen for 17 weeks, we got into the playoffs and BOOM #23, #24, #25 ….. appear, what do we do ? Close our eyes and hold our breath ?

  40. jimm Says:

    not know what’s going to happen, has happened…things change until they can’t

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe’s flash poll yesterday revealed that a very slim majority of Bucs fans want to trade for Watson, which is understandable’.

    One thing about polling that you know very well Joe: very few are statistically relevant by virtue of design. In the case of your poll yesterday, it’s only pertinent & relevant to those who responded, i.e., JBFers. To say that ‘a very slim majority of BUCS’ FANS want to trade for Watson’ is misleading because those JBFers who responded to your poll represent only a small portion of BUCS’ FANS.

    In the case of Watson, hard pass. The fact that we’re even talking about him tells me that far too many media & JBFers apparently have too little appreciation for what it takes to build a competitive TEAM in today’s NFL, what our team’s NEEDS are to be competitive this year, and what resources (ie, salary CAP) we have available to build that competitive TEAM with. QB is unquestionably the most important position on today’s NFL teams, but it’s still only ONE of 53 positions on the final roster. ALL cost money.

  42. allbuccedup Says:

    All the owners should not even discuss a trade until hes completely cleared maybe in the meantime Houston will lower his trade value. Look what owner in their right mind would trade 3 first round picks and then some for a player who at anytime be suspended indefinitely from the nfl.

  43. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m failing to draw the similarities between Ronaldo and Watson, other than allegations of improprieties.
    One is considered the “greatest player of all time”, the other has played 4 NFL seasons.
    Are you trying to say that because the Glazers signed Ronaldo (a legend!) they will sign Watson?
    What is the parallel?

  44. ModHairKen Says:

    He’s not “great”. He’s weak as a leader. He’s disloyal. Self absorbed. How many playoff games has he won?

  45. Buc1987 Says:

    Like some fan posted on another thread.

    Who doesn’t like happy endings?

    Bring Watson on board…

  46. Niles Says:

    Remember, OJ was not convicted either.

  47. Scooter Says:

    Bill Cosby had 24 women accuse him of rape and sexual assault. N.O.W. ( National Organization of Women ) stayed silent [You were doing OK until that last phrase, sorry. No need to incite folks on this site. — Joe]

  48. adam from ny Says:

    the dude has 99 problems…

    let’s just leave it at that and move forward…

    after brady being the face of the franchise for a minute, how do you bring this crap in and say “well here’s our new face”


  49. adam from ny Says:

    the nfl doesn’t even want watson on the bucs…

    we’ve been playing the role of america’s team the past 2 years…

    the nfl has given the bucs extensive prime time , national games, and games of the week…

    do you think they want watson quarterbacking in prime time on national tv every other week…

    this watson dude needs to be tucked away on some crap team in some crap market for quite some time…

    sure we could use him here – but it’s simply not a fit – right now

  50. Tbbucs3 Says:

    The Bucs need to stay away from this mess. How could you possibly justify kicking Gruden out of the ring of honor for decade old emails then proceed to sign or even show mild interest in Deshaun Watson?

  51. B.D Says:

    I will leave it up to Ariens, what ever he decides is fine with me. Seems he knows more than anyone on this site at least. He took one year of Winston, and turned him loose.. didn’t waste time on him. Then asked who he wanted.. he says Tom Brady hmm..let’s leave it up to Ariens.

  52. Buc king Says:

    I would trade for him…he’s costly in picks n cap space but a phenomenal player on the field he’s 1 of my top 3 prospect right now

  53. unbelievable Says:

    Thought this would be a story about Sean Murphy-Burnt-yet-again based on the article title… LOL

  54. Your Mom Says:

    If they get Watson, then I’ll stop watching the Bucs just like I did 7 years ago when they drafted a similar scumbag. Oh well, I enjoyed the last two years and the first thirty some. I can wait them out again if need be.

  55. ChiBuc Says:

    22 problems + cap hit + draft picks + likely suspension… just hope signing here ain’t one

  56. Swampbuc Says:

    No to anyone who doesn’t demonstrate proper ethics, morals, and southern Christian values.

    Look how scarred we are from all those thugs and over-the-hill Hollywood types like Brady.

    Tim Tebow will be your next Buc QB. Finally, someone to be proud of, regardless of his performance on the field. He was better than Kyle in college and is a better person, hence a better fit for the Bucs in these trying times.

    So relieved we have the answer. Now Jesus loves us.