It’s looking less and less likely that Deshaun Watson will be on the field when his new Cleveland Browns team opens up the regular season on September 11 against the Carolina Panthers.
The former Houston Texans star had been facing 22 civil suits from women claiming sexual misconduct/assault. While Watson was not charged criminally, there’s some within the law enforcement world who believe he committed a crime.
Beyond the obvious back-and-forth relating to those beliefs, the NFL is wrapping up its investigation into Watson under the guise of its personal conduct policy with a potential suspension set to be handed down this summer.
As if this weren’t enough, Watson is now facing two more lawsuits from women claiming inappropriate behavior on the part of the three-time Pro Bowler.
“Legal woes continue for former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson as attorney Tony Buzbee is in the process of filing two more lawsuits against the embattled NFL star…The amount of accusers is rising after more women come forward, claiming that Watson had inappropriate contact with them during massage therapy sessions.”Report on new Deshaun Watson lawsuits from KPRC 2 in Houston
Prior to this, two other women had come forward to file suits against Watson — bringing the total to 24 at that time. This came after multiple accusers appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” back in late May. They detailed the allegations in a disturbing manner.
As the number of women accusing Watson of misconduct continues to grow, there’s been a push for the NFL to act. One report suggests that he could face a year-long suspension. However, these new allegations will be looked into by the NFL — likely delaying the outcome of its investigation.
New allegations against Deshaun Watson ups the ante for the NFL
A total of 26 women have now come forward to accuse Watson of misconduct. While two separate grand juries in Texas declined to recommend charges against the new Browns quarterback, the NFL operates under its own justice system.
In short, criminal charges don’t need to be filed in order for commissioner Roger Goodell and Co. to act. The backdrop here is Cleveland’s decision to send three first-round picks and change to Houston for Watson after the aforementioned grand juries made their decisions during the spring.
- Deshaun Watson contract: 5 years, $230 million fully guaranteed
As you can see, Cleveland signed Watson to a massive contract after acquiring him from Houston. Said deal has an out under the personal conduct policy, but the team seems to be all in on the quarterback. As for those accusing Watson, they are not holding back when criticizing the Browns.
At this point, the growing number of allegations against Watson places both the Browns and the NFL behind the proverbial eight-ball. Can the two sides continue to ignore the situation at hand while somehow working through the bad PR optics that come with it? We’re not too sure.
At the very least, something will likely come to a head on this front ahead of Cleveland opening up training camp late next month.