Houston Texans coach David Culley deflects questions on Deshaun Watson

HOUSTON -- In his first news conference since 23 lawsuits were filed against Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans coach David Culley declined to answer whether he expects the quarterback to attend the team's offseason workouts.

The Texans' organized team activities begin May 24, but attendance is voluntary until the team's mandatory minicamp starting on June 15.

"We have nothing to say about that situation at this time," Culley said Saturday. "[Texans chairman Cal McNair] and ownership a few weeks back indicated about how our organization feels about the situation. I think when [general manager Nick Caserio] was on not long ago, he also mentioned that the legal process was in effect right now and we're going to respect that and go from there."

Watson is facing 22 lawsuits -- one of the 23 was dropped by the plaintiff -- that allege sexual assault and inappropriate behavior that took place from March 2020 to March 2021.

Culley was speaking for the first time since the first lawsuit was filed against Watson on March 16. In January, less than six months after signing a four-year, $156 million contract extension that goes through the 2025 season, Watson requested a trade because he was unhappy with the process used by the team to hire Caserio.

Culley's previous session with the media was on March 11, when he said the Texans were "very committed to Deshaun" as their starting quarterback moving forward.

"He is our quarterback," Culley said in March. "He's the only guy we got under contract at this time, right now."

Since then, the Texans have signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor, traded for quarterback Ryan Finley and drafted Stanford quarterback Davis Mills in the third round with their first pick of the draft.