Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was targeted with a 24th lawsuit this week accusing him of sexual misconduct during massage appointments.
On Tuesday, The New York Times published a bombshell report on the accusations against Watson, including that his former team – the Houston Texans – may have enabled the star quarterback’s behavior.
The Times reported that the Texans provided the “venue Watson used for some of the appointments” and provided him a non-disclosure agreement after a woman threatened to go public with her accusations in 2020.
Following the latest details, questions about Watson’s status for the upcoming NFL season are circulating, and one former NFL executive and NFL insider raised doubts about whether Watson will make it onto the field in 2022.
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“This one bugs me,” Andrew Brandt, a former front office executive with the Green Bay Packers and “Monday Morning Quarterback” contributor said on “The Pat McAfee Show” Wednesday.
“Because I can get signing a guy whose maybe had some character issues or had some bad things going on in his life as a player on your team. Just a player. But the Browns made him the face of the franchise. The Browns gave him the best contract in the history of football. The Browns gave him the most secure contract in football.
“This is something like, really? This is the face of the Browns?”
At the annual league meeting in March, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Watson could still face punishment from the league, even after two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges.
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“And with the Trevor Bauer two-year suspension, with new information, dribs and drabs coming out almost every day, I have a hard time seeing him getting on the field this year,” Brandt said. “I do. I just think, really?
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“The NFL trying to appeal to women. The NFL precedent of [Ben] Roethlisberger, precedent of Ezekiel Elliott, precedent of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension after the video … They’re going to put him on the field this year? Even for a couple of games? I’m having a hard time seeing that right now.”
Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns from the Houston Texans in March, with the Browns giving Watson a historic, fully-guaranteed 5-year, $230 million contract upon agreeing to the trade.
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Watson and his lawyer have denied the allegations.