Sunday, August 14, 2022

Deshaun Watson Could Be Suspended for Full Season Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Deshaun Watson / Peter Aiken-Getty Images North America-Getty Images
Deshaun Watson, shown in 2020, didn’t play last season due to legal issues. / (Peter Aiken-Getty Images North America-Getty Images)

*Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson is facing an indefinite suspension of up to a year amid his ongoing allegations of sexual misconduct.

A newly filed lawsuit accuses the Houston Texans of enabling Watson, who has been accused by 26 women of sexual misconduct. The team has been named as defendants in the ongoing civil litigation involving Watson.

“Today we filed the first case of what will likely be many against the Houston Texans related to Deshaun Watson’s behavior. Suffice it to say, the overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson’s behavior is incredibly damning,” said Tony Buzbee, the Houston attorney is reportedly representing at least two dozen women with lawsuits against Watson, ESPN reports. 

“We believe the Texans knew or most certainly should have known of Watson’s conduct. Beyond that, we believe the filing speaks for itself,” Buzbee said.

READ MORE: Get Ready. Two More Women to File Charges Against Deshaun Watson – A Total of 26!

Watson has maintained that he is innocent of the numerous allegations. In May, two Texas grand juries decided not to file criminal charges against him. The NFL grilled Watson earlier this summer as part of its investigation.

“I did everything they asked me to do. I answered every question truthfully that the NFL asked me,” Watson said earlier this month. “I spent hours with the people they brought down. That’s all I can do, is be honest and tell them exactly what happened. They have a job, and so I have to respect that. And that’s what we want to do is cooperate. They have to make a decision that’s best for the league.”

And what’s best for the league at the moment appears to be the possibility of sidelining Watson for the rest of the season. 

Here’s more from SI.com:

Watson must participate in six contests in a given season to accrue an entire season on his contract. Unless the NFL finds a loophole to ensure that he would miss the whole year while earning a season towards his contract, the Browns would be able to get an entire season of Watson in 2023 for just $1 million in base salary.

The team would then use the copious amounts of rollover cap they have saved to bring in premier talent from free agency. They would have around $80 million in cap space while having some of football’s best players under contract long-term.

Watson is accused of being inappropriate with women during his massage sessions. He said previously that he has “no regrets” about any of his actions during these encounters.

“I do understand that I do have regrets as far as the impact that [it’s had] on the community and people outside of just myself,” he said. “And that includes my family. That includes this organization. That includes my teammates in this locker room that have to answer to these questions. That includes the fan base of the Cleveland Browns. That includes males, females, everyone across the, the world. That’s one thing I do regret is the impact that it’s triggered on so many people. It’s tough to have to deal with.”

The NFL has recommended an indefinite suspension for Watson without pay for at least a year, cleveland.com reports. Watson could apply for reinstatement after the season.

Per USA Today, a retired federal judge will decide Watson’s future in the NFL as a hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday about whether he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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