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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Articles tagged: Deshaun Watson

LeBron James criticized for Deshaun Watson post

LeBron James in a jersey

Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James made the curious decision over the weekend to offer a public show of support for Deshaun Watson.

Watson and the Cleveland Browns beat the Washington Commanders on Sunday by a 24-10 final score. The former Pro Bowler Watson had perhaps his best game since returning from suspension, throwing for 169 yards and three TDs as well as adding 31 more yards on the ground (for 200 total).

The Los Angeles Lakers star James reacted to one of Watson’s passing touchdowns during the game with an upbeat message about the QB.

“Yessir D Watson!!” James tweeted. “Another one. That boy getting his rhythm back! #Browns”

James also shared the same post to his official Facebook page.

The message from the former NBA MVP was very poorly received. After all, the reason for Watson’s suspension (which ran for the first 11 games of the NFL season) was the troubling sexual misconduct allegations made against Watson by dozens of women.

Here is a sampling of some of the backlash that James received for the post.

James, a Northeast Ohio native, has been a longtime Dallas Cowboys fan. He recently said that he had dropped his fandom of the Cowboys for ethical reasons, which makes his support of the Watson and his hometown Browns curious.

Deshaun Watson makes admission about return to Houston

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 Cleveland Browns won in Deshaun Watson’s first game as starting quarterback, but Watson was willing to admit that the entire occasion was not necessarily what he had been expecting.

Watson’s debut came in Houston against the Texans, the team where he spent his first five seasons of his career. On Wednesday, the Browns quarterback admitted that the occasion hit him harder than he had expected.

“Yeah, I think last week, it was a lot,” Watson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “The anticipation to just be back on the field, the anticipation of going back to my former team, the anticipation of playing against former teammates and being in front of a crowd that used to cheer for me at the time. So all that stuff was definitely, it was a lot.”

Watson did not say it, but there was also the added angle of how he left and the circumstances that went into the move. After demanding a trade, Watson faced more than two dozen sexual misconduct allegations, which led to his suspension to start the season. That combination meant Watson faced a fairly unforgiving environment in his first game.

Watson went just 12/31 for 131 yards in his Cleveland debut. The Browns will expect more in his second game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Report: Deshaun Watson received notable snub in return to Houston

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

Deshaun Watson probably expected a somewhat chilly response in his return to Houston on Sunday, but what may have been unexpected is how that response apparently came directly from a key Houston Texans figure.

Watson played his first game in nearly two years on Sunday, facing the Texans as a member of the Cleveland Browns. Watson was booed by Texans fans before the game, and apparently received another snub from Hannah McNair, the wife of Texans owner Cal McNair.

Watson greeted Cal McNair during warmups, and Hannah McNair subtly turned her back on Watson as he did so, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB. She also wore a purple dress and purple shoes that featured the logo of the Houston Area Women’s Center, an organization that supports victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Breer adds that his understanding is that Hannah McNair’s move was “not by accident,” though the McNairs declined comment when asked.

Watson was underwhelming in his first game, going just 12-for-22 for 131 yards and an interception. That may have been expected given his time on the sidelines, though it did help the Browns make a bit of weird history in their victory.

Browns bracing for big development next week

Kevin Stefanski speaks with the media

Feb 25, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Cleveland Browns general manager Kevin Stefanski speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The next time the Cleveland Browns take the practice field, quarterback Deshaun Watson will be under center.

Beginning on Monday, Watson will be permitted to rejoin his teammates after serving a lengthy suspension as part of his settlement with the NFL. The veteran quarterback had been accused of sexual misconduct by roughly two dozen women during his time with the Houston Texans.

Watson was also fined $5 million.

The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans back in March. The controversial trade saw Cleveland send six total draft picks to Houston, including three first-rounders, in exchange for Watson and a 2024 sixth-round pick.

As part of the deal, Watson was given a five-year, $230 million contract that was fully guaranteed. It was the largest fully guaranteed contract in NFL history.

“I have talked to the guys,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said, via Yahoo! Sports. “We kind of have a plan for that moving forward. Deshaun is a great, great teammate. He has been awesome having him back in the building and in the meetings rooms. That is the next step in this where he can he get out there and practice.”

In Watson’s absence, Jacoby Brissett has performed admirably. But he will now revert to the backup role, which was the plan all along.

Watson last played in Week 17 of the 2020 season.

Browns GM reveals when Deshaun Watson is expected to play

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

Deshaun Watson is currently serving a suspension that stems from numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, but the Cleveland Browns quarterback will be eligible to return later this month. The team expects him on the field as soon as he is given the green light.

Watson is eligible to be reinstated by the NFL on Nov. 28, which is the day after Cleveland’s Week 12 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Wednesday, Browns general manager Andrew Berry told reporters that the plan is for Watson to start against his former team, the Houston Texans, in Week 13.

“It’s been great to have him back in the building,” Berry said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “He’s been focused on working on himself. He’s stayed in great shape. He’s been a part of the meetings. He’s done everything and more that’s been asked of him.”

Watson was cleared to return to the Browns’ facility for meetings and conditioning halfway through his 11-game suspension, which was on Oct. 10. He can begin practicing with the team on Nov. 14.

The Browns improved to 3-5 with their win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. Berry spoke highly of Jacoby Brissett, who has thrown for 1,862 yards, 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while filling in for Watson.

If the Browns can somehow win two out of their next three games, they will be squarely in the playoff hunt when Watson returns. We have already seen the type of heckling Watson is going to have to deal with from fans. He will be a major boost for the team if he is in shape and can ignore all of that.

Deshaun Watson was busted for driving nearly 100 mph

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

Deshaun Watson added yet another off-field issue to his long list of them shortly after he was traded to the Cleveland Browns last offseason.

Watson was issued a citation for speeding while he was driving on the freeway in Sandusky, Ohio, on June 11. Body camera footage from the Ohio State Highway Patrol that was obtained by TMZ shows that Watson was pulled over in his Mercedes G-Wagon. He was honest when an officer asked if he knew how fast he was going.

“Like, 97?” Watson said.

The officer responded that he had Watson driving 97 mph and issued him a citation. Court records show that Watson paid a $185 fine and the case was closed out on July 6.

All indications are that the interaction between Watson and police was friendly, but the Browns probably were not pleased to hear that Watson was driving at such a high speed. The citation came just months after they acquired him in a move that was highly scrutinized due to the sexual assault allegations against the star quarterback.

Watson is currently serving an 11-game suspension. He has maintained his innocence and listed one reason why he agreed to a settlement with the NFL.

Photo of Browns fans’ Deshaun Watson massage table goes viral

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

Cleveland Browns fans managed to go viral on Sunday for the way they mocked the Deshaun Watson situation.

Watson was sued by 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct during/while seeking massages. Watson has settled most of the cases and is currently serving an 11-game suspension from the NFL.

Some Browns fans poked fun at the sitution during what appeared to be a tailgate before the team’s game against the New York Jets.

The fans brought out a massage table and put a mannequin on it with a towel covering the genitals area. They also had a box for tips on the table, along with a sign saying “happy endings are not illegal.”

The fans appeared to be making fun of Watson’s lawyer, who used that exact defense about his client.

In addition to his 11-game suspension, Watson was fined $5 million. The Browns have been starting Jacoby Brissett at quarterback with Watson out. Cleveland lost 31-30 at home to the Jets.

NFL had key reason for pursuing Deshaun Watson settlement?

Roger Goodell at a press conference

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had ample reason to settle his suspension with the NFL. Some have questioned what the incentive was for the NFL, particularly after the league openly pushed for a one-year suspension stemming from multiple allegations of sexual assault/sexual misconduct.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports wrote Friday that there is reason to believe the league and its 32 owners were hesitant to follow through with a full one-year suspension for Watson. Robinson suggested that the NFL was wary of Watson and the NFLPA taking the league to federal court over the suspension, an outcome Robinson had previously reported was likely. While the effort likely would not have been successful, the NFL was not keen to see out the costly legal battle and public relations issues that would come with it.

In addition, team owners were concerned that the NFLPA would begin publicly litigating allegations of misconduct against their ranks if Watson was suspended for a full year. The union has been angry at how the league has acted strongly against allegations against players such as Watson, but come off looking much more forgiving in the face of allegations against owners such as Washington’s Daniel Snyder. That would be another public relations battle that the league would not want to face.

In other words, the NFL was worried about Watson and the NFLPA launching a damaging legal and PR campaign against the league if Watson received the harshest possible punishment. That is certainly a plausible explanation considering a one-year suspension was seen as a near-certainty prior to the settlement being announced.

As for Watson, a settlement was definitely in his best interests considering what the alternative for him would have been. For better or worse, the process essentially ended with both sides wanting to put the entire situation behind them.

Alleged victim reveals why she did not settle with Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson at the Pro Bowl

Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson (4) during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has reached settlement agreements with all but one of the 24 women who filed sexual assault lawsuits against him. The one alleged victim who refused to settle has now spoken out against the Cleveland Browns star.

Lauren Baxley wrote a guest piece for The Daily Beast that was published on Friday in which she identified herself as the remaining plaintiff against Watson. She said one of the reasons she was not satisfied with any of the settlement offers is that she believes they aim to dismiss Watson’s actions rather than show remorse.

“I have rejected all settlement offers, in part because they have not included any sincere acknowledgment of remorse and wrongdoings, nor have they included any promises of rehabilitative treatment,” Baxley wrote. “Watson still refuses to admit that he harassed and committed indecent assault against me. Any settlement offer he has made has been a dismissal of his evil actions, and I know that unless there is an authoritative intervention, he will continue his destructive behavior.”

Watson has consistently maintained his innocence. He only admitted to having consensual sexual encounters with some of the women who filed lawsuits against him. Baxley says she is not one of those women.

“I will say again: All non-consensual sexual acts are a violence, particularly when the predator far outweighs his victims in physical stature and influential power,” she wrote. “And inherent and unspoken threats are just as damaging to the psyche as explicit threats. I will never cease my attempts to educate on this point.”

The NFL announced Thursday that it has settled with Watson on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine. In a statement that was released with the announcement, Watson tried to explain why he accepted a harsh punishment despite insisting he did nothing wrong.

It is unclear what the end result will be between Watson and Baxley. The lawsuit could eventually be heard in court if no settlement is reached. Unless some new allegations come to light, however, the NFL probably considers the matter resolved.

Deshaun Watson tries to explain decision to settle 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

Deshaun Watson spoke to the media after his 11-game suspension was officially announced by the NFL, and he tried to offer some explanations about what led to a settlement.

The NFL announced Thursday that it had settled with Watson on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine over sexual misconduct/assault allegations made against the quarterback. In a statement released with the announcement, Watson apologized “for any pain this situation has caused” and added that he “take(s) accountability for the decisions I made.”

Watson then spoke directly to the media, in which he maintained his innocence and tried to explain his apology in light of that. The quarterback said his apology was for “people that were triggered” and said he had accepted the settlement because he had to “push forward with my life and career.”

Watson has consistently maintained his innocence in the face of the allegations. There was even some suggestion that he felt the initial six-game suspension was too harsh. His case was difficult to argue after former judge Sue L. Robinson stated that she felt the NFL had proved the allegations against Watson. The proof is part of why she forced the quarterback to make a major change to his routine. The question of why he would accept a significant penalty if he could make the case that the facts are on his side is certainly a valid one.

The NFL said Watson must undergo professional evaluation during his suspension, and commissioner Roger Goodell certainly seems to want to see Watson show some sort of remorse for his alleged actions. That will be difficult for Watson to do as long as he maintains that he never did what he was accused of in the first place.