News just keeps getting worse for the Cleveland Browns on the Deshaun Watson front. On Tuesday we learned a 23rd woman had filed a lawsuit against Watson for inappropriate sexual conduct during a massage session. That just adds to the mess the Browns are dealing with after trading for Watson and handing him an enormous contract.
When the Browns traded three first-round draft picks, a third-rounder in 2023, and fourth-rounders in 2022 and 2024 to the Houston Texans for Watson and a 2024 sixth-rounder, they faced incredible backlash. That only intensified when Cleveland handed him a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract. The Browns wouldn't have done that unless they thought he would be able to play and that his legal troubles were almost behind him. They aren't.
Two weeks ago we learned the lawsuits Watson has been facing for more than a year won't be resolved until at least 2023. Which means the Browns will have to play the entirety of the 2022 season with that hanging over the team's collective head. Everyone will face questions about the lawsuits and the quarterback's conduct, especially Watson, the front office and the team's coaches.
Now another suit has been added to the pile. This time, the plaintiff states that she had her first massage sessions with Watson in 2020 and his "behavior grew worse." During the third and final massage, Watson allegedly exposed himself to her, touched her between her legs and "repeatedly requested" she have sex with him.
Here's more from ESPN:
According to the lawsuit, the woman changed her mind about suing Watson after watching HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" last week. On that show, two other women, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, who have also accused Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct, criticized the Browns for giving the quarterback an NFL-record $230 million guaranteed contract after trading for him in March.
The Browns just didn't get it. Watson has serious problems and they imported them, then handed him the largest contract in NFL history. They're stuck with him now regardless of what happens.
The Browns saw a path to landing the franchise quarterback they haven't had for three decades and dove in because they could. But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. They're learning that hard lesson right now.