It’s been a crazy offseason for Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns, and the Houston Texans. The offseason started with a trade that many panned due to the Texans “only” getting back draft pick compensation. Watson got a bonanza as he reworked his contract and now is set to receive $230 million fully guaranteed.
However, since then the civil lawsuits against Watson have expanded to include 24 different women accusing him of sexual misconduct. There was an HBO special where a two of the plaintiffs were interviewed for millions of viewers to see. The NFL has also ramped up its investigation and appears due to lay down punishment as soon as July.
On Tuesday, more disturbing details were reported about Watson by New York Times reporter Jenny Vrentas, who also provided information on the Texans’ involvement.
Deshaun Watson received massages from at least 66 different women in a 17-month period. Some of these women, speaking publicly for the first time, described experiences that undercut his insistence he was only seeking professional massage therapy: https://t.co/QezN8ucAHU— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) June 7, 2022
According to the Times’ report, 66 different women gave Watson a massage in a 17-month period. Some of them are disputing his claims that he was seeking professional massage therapy.
We could speculate as to what this means for the Browns, Watson, and the Texans but quite frankly we have never seen anything like this in the NFL. Certainly we have seen numerous athletes accused of sexual assault and we have seen some found guilty. We have seen athletes accused of sexual harassment by fans, reporters, and other professionals before. We have never seen this many accusations.
Meanwhile, Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin didn’t do himself any favors in his appearance on Houston’s Sports Radio 610 this past week. We will obviously have to wait and see how these civil cases play out, but the NFL can’t keep kicking the can down the road. They will have to act — and act before the start of the season. We can only speculate how that fallout will affect the Browns and Texans, as well.