A 24th woman has come forward to accuse Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct/assault.
Her case was filed in the Harris County District Court in Texas and represents the second woman to come forward with new allegations against the Pro Bowl signal caller over the past couple weeks.
All of this comes well more than a year after the initial cases were filed against Watson in civil court. It also comes with the NFL nearing the end of its investigation into the allegations with a potential punishment set to be handed down at some point this summer.
As you likely already know, two separate grand juries in Texas opted against recommending criminal charges against the quarterback earlier this year. Immediately after, Cleveland dealt three first-round picks as the centerpiece in a package to acquire Watson from the Houston Texans.
Why is the NFL quiet on the Deshaun Watson situation?
From a practical standpoint, the league is not going to comment on an ongoing investigation. This has been the modus operandi of the league under commissioner Roger Goodell.
With that said, its silence could lead us to believe that the league is close to making a final determination on a potential suspension of the former first-round pick.
It was just recently that Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported that he wouldn’t be surprised if Watson is banned for an entire year under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
- Deshaun Watson contract: 5 years, $230 million fully guaranteed with a base salary of $1.04 million in 2022
As you can see above, Cleveland prepared for a potential suspension by including a small base salary for 2022 in the contract it signed Watson to after acquiring the start quarterback from Houston.
The Browns also brought in veteran Jacoby Brissett to back him up. While Baker Mayfield currently remains on the roster, it would be a surprise if he’s not dealt ahead of training camp.
These recent suggestions lead us to believe that the Browns are bracing for a long-term suspension. The NFL’s lack of response to the most-recent allegation against Watson adds another layer to this.
To be clear, this isn’t a great situation for the Browns. They have already received a ton of push back in the Cleveland community for acquiring Deshaun Watson in the first place. As more allegations surface, it increasingly becomes a black eye for the organization.