After not playing in the 2021 season, Deshaun Watson found a new home a couple of months ago. The Cleveland Browns traded a couple of drafts picks for the quarterback. Watson is still facing 22 civil lawsuits from his victims, several of whom allege sexual assault and wrongdoing during massage sessions.
In March, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski justified the deal for Watson.
After concluding insufficient evidence to prosecute Watson with a felony, a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, refused to charge him with harassment and sexual misconduct in March. Meanwhile, a grand jury in Brazoria County, Texas, declined to charge Watson after hearing evidence in a criminal complaint claiming sexual misconduct during a massage treatment session.
On the other hand, Watson has rejected the allegations of sexual assault and misbehavior leveled against him on several occasions.
When questioned about his off-the-field circumstances during his initial press conference with the Browns, Watson answered: "I don't have any regrets. Like I said before, the things that are off the field that came up caught me by surprise because I never did anything that these people are alleging."
Watson is still being investigated by the NFL, while Commissioner Roger Goodell said that a decision by a joint disciplinary officer has "no time frame."
A few weeks after Watson was dealt with the Browns, Major League Baseball banned Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer for two years without pay for violating the league's domestic violence and sexual assault policy. A woman accused Bauer of unconsented sexual acts that she stated she felt obligated to do by the starting pitcher. Bauer has maintained his denial of the charges.
Watson's move has enraged many fans, and some expressed disgust with the Cleveland organization for pushing on getting Watson. However, before March, Cleveland was already ready to move from the number one pick in the 2018 draft, Baker Mayfield. The Browns have yet to find a trade partner for their previous starting quarterback. Last season, Mayfield posted a 60.5 completion percentage, 3,010 total yards, 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and an 83.1 rating.
Deshaun Watson, via his attorneys, conceded that three of the 22 massage sessions filed in lawsuits ended in consented sex. In addition, two accusers described their experiences with the quarterback on HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.
Meanwhile, the quarterback attends Cleveland OTAs to learn the new offense scheme.