Deshaun Watson settles three more civil lawsuits as discipline decision looms

Deshaun Watson settles three more civil lawsuits as discipline decision looms

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Deshaun Watson settled three more civil lawsuits with women who accused him of sexual assault as the Cleveland Browns quarterback awaits a decision in his discipline case, an attorney said Sunday.

Watson was facing 24 active civil lawsuits since March 2021. Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the women, told ESPN that three of the four remaining lawsuits were settled.

Retired Judge Sue L. Robinson informed the NFL and the NFL Players Association she is ready to make a ruling on Watson’s disciplinary hearing, which occurred a month ago, according to multiple reports. The ruling is expected Monday.

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, throws a pass during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio July 28, 2022.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, throws a pass during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio July 28, 2022. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

For more than a year, Watson faced two dozen sexual harassment and assault suits from massage therapists. All the allegations mentioned in the lawsuits were said to have taken place between March 2020 and March 2021 while he was a member of the Houston Texans.

The Texans settled with 30 women last month.

Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges, stemming from the allegations.

Watson has denied ever sexually assaulting anyone. He has been participating in Browns’ training camp as he awaits the decision from the league.

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, looks on during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio July 28, 2022.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, looks on during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio July 28, 2022. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL argued for an indefinite suspension of at least one year during a hearing last month, according to the Associated Press. The NFL also reportedly wants to fine Watson $5 million.

Each side could appeal the discipline Robinson hands down. In which case, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” according to rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

The NFLPA made clear it wouldn’t appeal Robinson’s decision.

“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding. First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation,” the union said in a statement.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, walks off the field during organized team activities at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio May 25, 2022.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, walks off the field during organized team activities at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio May 25, 2022. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

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“A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially. Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”

Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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