This week, Deshaun Watson was deemed guilty of sexual assault and was given a short 6 game suspension. Through the following appeal and lawsuit, the Browns still plan on playing Watson in the preseason after giving him a $230 million extension.
Deshaun Watson was on track to become the next biggest quarterback in the NFL. He had everything going in his favor. Reviving a broken franchise, encapsulating quarterback play, and the power to overcome odds.
This all took a turn at the beginning of last season when sexual assault allegations started to build on Watson. Watson sat the year out citing that he did not want to play in Houston anymore. The Texans held him out because of ongoing legal procedures.
After the season had ended, there were upwards of 24 sexual allegations on Watson. Everyone was expecting a punishment. In the meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns traded 3 first round picks and more in a move for Watson. They followed this up with an extension that gave him the most guaranteed money in NFL history.
Just this week, Judge Sue Robinson found Watson of being guilty of sexual assault. However, the punishment she doled out was a 6 game suspension and no fines. This did not sit well with almost all fans.
6 fucking games?! This is sickening
— #6ofThePels12 (@yassm_shasm) August 1, 2022
In response, Rodger Goodell and the NFL decided to appeal the suspension in order to increase the duration to at least a season if not indefinitely. They also wanted to fine Watson upwards of $10 million. This is still an ongoing process.
The Cleveland Browns have once again proved their low standards, playing Deshaun Watson
The Cleveland Browns have been the laughingstock of the NFL for a long, long time. This seemed to be changing with Baker Mayfield at quarterback who led them to the playoffs. However, after an injury filled year, the Browns quickly moved on.
In light of sexual assault allegations, the Browns still traded for Watson and are now deciding to play him in the preseason. With Watson’s confirmed sexual assault cases, the Browns seemingly do not care.
Browns plan to play Deshaun Watson in the preseason. With no appeal by the NFLPA of Watson’s six-game suspension, however, Watson will then be out until Week Seven at the very earliest — even if there’s a lawsuit. https://t.co/JDD7v39O7v
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 4, 2022
They are standing by Watson and allowing him to continue playing. People in the front office have voiced their support for Watson.
One would expect that the Browns don’t play Watson until either the cases are lifted or an appropriate punishment is given. Many are hoping that Watson receives a lifetime ban from the NFL for his actions and the Browns are stripped of the money and picks they gave up.
However, the NFL has historically proven to not always take the right decision. This could be about the Dan Snyder case or many other examples. It is still a question if Goodell and his team make the right decision in this scenario.