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Deshaun Watson trade has no effect on pending investigation, could still be suspended

Andrew Buller-Russ

As one of the most controversial football players of all-time, fans are split on how to feel about Deshaun Watson having the opportunity to choose his playing destination while receiving a new fully-guaranteed $230 million contract.

On one hand, it’s a relief that he’s escaped the ongoing effort by Houston Texans to tank. But on the other hand the Cleveland Browns have just essentially sent a message to their fanbase that they don’t care about what Watson’s been accused of by 22 different women.

While on March 8, they wanted to paint the picture that they value and respect the women who have worked so hard to help the organization over the years, today’s trade sends a very different message. Needless to say, the Browns just paid a heavy price to place themselves in the Dawg Pound and will have a difficult time escaping.

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Deshaun Watson is far from an ideal situation, still faces suspension

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the NFL wanted to provide a stark reminder, that despite the trade that makes Watson one of the highest-paid players in the sport, there’s no guarantee he even sees the field. Basically, Watson isn’t in the clear yet, he could be suspended yet in 2022.

Here’s the official statement from NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

“Any transaction would have no effect on the NFL’s ongoing and comprehensive investigation of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “Nor would it affect his status under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy.

“If the league’s investigation determines that Watson violated the Personal Conduct Policy, discipline may be imposed pursuant to the policy and the CBA.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy on Deshaun Watson’s standing (H/t to Pro Football Talk)

While Watson may have cleared one hurdle in his pending court cases, this saga is far from over.

Related: 4 ideal Baker Mayfield trade scenarios from the Cleveland Browns