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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Deshaun Watson

Browns’ plan revealed if Deshaun Watson is suspended

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The future of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson remains very much uncertain. And the same can be said for his fellow quarterback, Baker Mayfield.

That leaves the Browns in an unexpected position. They were certain their quarterback woes would come to an end with the acquisition of Watson, but it’s only ended up muddying the waters further. And as the NFL deliberates on a potential suspension for Watson, Cleveland is busy creating contingency plans.

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports that the Browns will plug Jacoby Brissett in as their starter should Watson be suspended.

Brissett has emerged as the fallback option due to the team’s deteriorated relationship with Mayfield, who skipped minicamp and openly wants to be moved.

“I have no regrets of my time in Cleveland, of what I tried to give to that place,” Mayfield told the “Ya Never Know” podcast in April. “The respect thing is all going to be a personal opinion. I feel disrespected, 100%. I was told one thing, and they completely did another.

“That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what, I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years. 2021 was miserable — bunch of different coordinators. I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”

The 29-year-old Brissett was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2016 NFL draft. He was traded to the Colts in 2017 and spent four seasons in Indianapolis before donning a Miami Dolphins uniform last year.

In 60 career games (37 starts), Brissett has completed 60.2% of his passes for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He’s also rushed the ball 178 times for 653 yards and 13 additional touchdowns.

Report: Deshaun Watson, NFL discipline talks ‘fell apart’ over big issue

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has avoided criminal charges and settled the majority of the sexual assault lawsuits against him, but the Cleveland Browns star is still facing a lengthy suspension. While there have been discussions about a possible disciplinary settlement between the NFL, NFL Players Association and Watson’s camp, that may not be a realistic outcome.

USA Today’s Josina Anderson was told on Thursday that talks about an agreement for Watson’s discipline “fell apart” over the length of a potential suspension.

Sports legal expert Michael McCann noted that Watson’s side may be more motivated to reach a settlement. Once a disciplinary officer that was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA reaches a decision, Roger Goodell or someone chosen by the NFL commissioner would hear any appeal from Watson. The quarterback’s chances of having any suspension reduced or overturned would not be great.

The NFL is said to be seeking a lengthy suspension for Watson. There have been many times in the past where players are not charged criminally but are still suspended. That is likely to be the case with Watson, it is simply a matter of how long.

Major development announced in Deshaun Watson scandal

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Two dozen women have filed sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson, and the Cleveland Browns star has now reached settlements with the majority of them.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney who represents all of the massage therapists who have sued Watson, revealed on Tuesday that 20 of 24 alleged victims have settled with the quarterback. Buzbee emphasized that Ashley Solis, the first woman who came forward with allegations against Watson, has not agreed to a settlement.

Buzbee said the terms of the settlements will not be disclosed. The accusers likely signed nondisclosure agreements in exchange for receiving money from Watson.

Solis was the first massage therapist to go public with a claim against Watson. She accused Watson of intentionally touching her with his penis during a session on March 30, 2020. Solis said last year and during her deposition that Watson’s actions caused her to feel frightened and cry. Watson admitted during his recent deposition in the case that his massage session with Solis ended with her crying and that he later apologized via text message.

The NFL is said to be nearing the end of its investigation into the claims against Watson. A recent report indicated the 26-year-old could be facing a lengthy suspension.

District attorney issues reminder about Deshaun Watson case

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns not long after two different grand juries in Texas declined to indict him on sexual assault charges. NFL teams considered that a huge victory for Watson, but Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg wants to remind everyone that it does not mean the star quarterback is innocent.

Ogg, who is in charge of the prosecutor’s office in Houston, discussed the Watson case during an appearance on “The Mike Meltser Podcast” this week. She said the legal process is “designed to get the truth” but cautioned that a lack of grand jury indictment is “not an exoneration.”

“People, even when they clear the criminal justice system, often face accountability and repercussions in other parts of our legal system,” Ogg said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “And so I think to determine whether justice was done in this case you’re going to have to wait and see how it all comes out on the civil side of things and then through the NFL on the administrative side of things. And then people will determine whether that’s justice.”

Watson is facing sexual assault lawsuits from 24 women, and more could still be filed. The teams that pursued him obviously were not as concerned about the civil suits as they were the potential of criminal charges. Though, one team did back out of the sweepstakes because the lawsuits weren’t settled.

The NFL is reportedly seeking a lengthy suspension for Watson. Criminal charges would have had a bigger impact on his career, but he is far from out of the woods in terms of consequences.

Report: NFL aiming for lengthy Deshaun Watson suspension

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is nearing the end of its investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson, and the Cleveland Browns star could be on the verge of being hit with a lengthy suspension.

Multiple people familiar with the Watson investigation told Mark Maske of the Washington Post on Friday that the NFL is seeking a “significant” suspension for Watson. The belief is that Watson could be suspended for a full season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

One person that Maske spoke with cautioned that it is difficult to predict a precise length of the ban but said “significant would be the proper term.” The NFL will present the findings of its investigation to former U.S. district judge Sue. L. Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association as the disciplinary officer under the latest collective bargaining agreement.

The NFL is hoping to wrap up the disciplinary process — including a potential appeal from Watson — before the start of training camp. The Browns open camp on July 27.

Watson is facing 24 sexual assault lawsuits from massage therapists who claim they worked with him. More could be filed in the coming days and weeks.

A recent report claimed Watson had a total of at least 66 different massage therapists over a 17-month span. The quarterback was asked about that during a press conference at minicamp this week.

The Browns signed Watson to a fully guaranteed $230 million extension after they acquired him in a trade with the Houston Texans this offseason. The contract may be structured in a way that protects Watson against a lengthy suspension.

NFL execs growing concerned about Deshaun Watson situation?

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has maintained his innocence as the sexual assault lawsuits against him continue to pile up, but there are reportedly some within the NFL who are concerned that the allegations have not stopped.

There are now 24 active civil lawsuits against Watson, and more could be coming. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, some executives at the NFL league offices want Watson to be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List — also known as paid administrative leave — until the cases play out. One source told Florio that there is growing concern that more and more women continue to take action against Watson.

The NFL was said to be nearing the end of its investigation into Watson’s alleged conduct, but that was before several more lawsuits were filed. It is unclear if the new allegations will impact the league’s timeline for deciding if Watson will face disciplinary action.

A recent report claimed Watson had more than 66 different massage therapists during a 17-month span. Many have wondered why an NFL star would need that many different therapists. Watson was asked about that during his minicamp press conference this week.

Although two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson, the NFL could still suspend the Cleveland Browns star. Commissioner Roger Goodell has a history of handing out discipline to players even after they are cleared legally. Many expect the same to happen with Watson.

Jadeveon Clowney reveals 1 main reason he re-signed with Browns

Jadevon Clowney on the practice field

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney participates in drills during an NFL football practice at the team’s training facility, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Berea, Ohio. [Jeff Lange / Akron Beacon Journal]

Jadeveon Clowney re-signed with the Cleveland Browns last month, and there have been reports that he was offered more money from other teams. The star pass-rusher says there was one main reason he wanted to remain in Cleveland.

Clowney told reporters on Thursday that he wanted to play with Deshaun Watson again. The two were teammates with the Houston Texans in 2017 and 2018. Clowney said he kept in touch with Watson leading up to the quarterback being traded and was prepared to follow him elsewhere if need be.

“I talked to him a few times before he signed, after he signed. We stayed in touch through that whole thing about coming here,” Clowney said, via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. “If he come, then I come. I told him if he goes, I’ll follow him up here. I’ll go back. That’s what it came down to.”

The Atlanta Falcons looked like the favorite to acquire Watson at one point. If that deal went through, Clowney says he probably would have signed with the Falcons.

“I was all about where my boy Deshaun was going,” he said. “I probably would have followed him (to Atlanta). But who knows? He ended up here. We’re here now. That’s over with. Let’s go. We’re chasing it now.”

There is at least one other reason Clowney chose to re-sign with Cleveland, but it is clear Watson’s decision was a big factor. Clowney believes the Browns have a legitimate chance to contend in 2022. That appealed to him more than anything else.

Deshaun Watson responds to report he had 66 different massage therapists

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has maintained his innocence as more than two dozen women have accused him of sexual assault. Regardless of whether he is telling the truth, one question he will likely never escape is why he worked with so many different massage therapists in a short span of time. The Cleveland Browns star has yet to provide an explanation.

Watson spoke with the media at the start of minicamp on Tuesday. He was asked numerous questions about the 26 sexual assault lawsuits he is facing. One reporter brought up a recent New York Times story that claimed Watson saw at least 66 massage therapists over a 17-month period. Watson said he does not “think” that number is accurate but deferred to his legal team.

Watson was careful in how he responded to most questions, which was expected. The lawsuits against him are still playing out. None of them have been settled, though Watson did make settlement offers at one point.

Most NFL teams have their own massage therapists on staff. That is one of the reasons many have wondered why a star player would need to receive treatments from so many different people. Watson had an even more puzzling response when asked the same question earlier this year.

Deshaun Watson responds to new report via Instagram posting

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson responded on Instagram Tuesday to a report containing details and allegations regarding his behavior with masseuses.

The New York Times published an investigation into Watson and said the Cleveland Browns quarterback received massages from at least 66 massage therapists over a 17-month period.

One of the women who spoke with the Times accused Watson of being persistent in his requests for sexual acts during their massage.

The report was published at a time when two more women have filed lawsuits against Watson, bringing the total to 24 lawsuits.

Watson made his Twitter account private. He posted a reply on his Instagram Story that included some song lyrics that seemed to represent his feelings.

“See, the blogs can’t break me down, see, I’m the voice, I don’t reply
But the rumors y’all done heard, I’ma humbly deny, yeah, yeah.”

Watson has continually denied wrongdoing, saying that any sex that took place between him and any of the massage therapists was consensual.

Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin on Monday responded to the new lawsuit filed against the quarterback.

“We are unable to respond to the new lawsuit at this time. Our legal team has not had time to investigate this new filing and had not heard her name until today. Deshaun continues to deny he did anything inappropriate with any of the plaintiffs,” Hardin said in a statement.

Watson was investigated by two separate grand juries in Texas but not indicted.

Deshaun Watson’s lawyer drops hint about NFL investigation

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson’s attorney has been involved in the NFL’s investigation of the Cleveland Browns quarterback, and may have dropped a hint regarding the potential outcome of that investigation.

Watson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin told Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today that the league has interviewed Watson for a total of four days as they investigate sexual assault allegations in relation to the league’s personal conduct policy. Hardin said the NFL engaged in “a hell of a detailed investigation,” but seemed to hint that there was a good chance its findings would not favor the quarterback.

“I don’t want to extoll on how detailed their investigation has been in case when they make their mind up that we seriously object — which I think there may be a very good possibility of that — but we just don’t know,” Hardin said.

This won’t change the NFL’s findings, but one has to wonder if this helps given Hardin’s recent PR efforts. It does sound as if Watson’s camp is expecting some sort of suspension, though details are few.

The NFL has also hinted that the Watson investigation is close to a conclusion. In all likelihood, everyone involved would like to know the outcome before the start of the season.