Another major development has come about in the Deshaun Watson legal case with reports of all but four civil lawsuits reaching a settlement.
As the NFL contemplates the future of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and a possible suspension in the 2022 season, another major development has come about regarding Watson’s ongoing and recently growing civil lawsuit saga.
Watson has 24 civil lawsuits against him for sexual misconduct, and according to lawyer Tony Buzbee, all but four of them have been settled.
The latest major development with Deshaun Watson’s legal situation
There are a couple of things that are very important to note here.
First and foremost, there are still four legal cases that are not settled and moving forward at this time. Does that mean they won’t be settled in the future? Not necessarily, but as of right now, four of the women bringing a sexual misconduct case against Watson have not settled.
Second, the terms of the settlement will remain confidential.
Third, the NFL’s investigation regarding Watson is also ongoing, and it sounds like the league could be pursuing a hefty suspension for the former MVP candidate.
It doesn’t seem shocking that news of settlements came about after it was leaked that the NFL could be pursuing a one-year suspension for Watson. Of course, the Cleveland Browns planned for that possibility or eventuality in their massive $230 million, fully guaranteed deal for Watson earlier this year.
The Browns gave Watson a base salary of $1.035 million in 2022 with a $44.965 million signing bonus as part of his $230 million in guarantees.
That way, if Watson is suspended for a year, he’s only going to lose $1.035 million. That’s still a lot of money, but it is nothing compared to the remaining $228.965 million Watson will receive, fully guaranteed.
To be clear, the NFL has not suspended Watson at this point in time, and they might not. Even if they do suspend him, Watson could appeal the suspension and that would be an entirely different chapter of this saga.
This entire situation has to be one of the strangest and most complicated in recent NFL history. Not only do you have Watson going through this legal battle, but then you have Baker Mayfield — a number one overall pick just a few years ago — still on the roster and not wanting to play for the Browns again.
If Watson is suspended for a full season, would the Browns really just roll with Jacoby Brissett? Would they try to convince Mayfield to come back for the year?
Would they go out and sign someone else like Cam Newton?
There are plenty of possibilities to consider but the most likely scenario at this point is probably just that Brissett would assume quarterback duties.
In that case, the Houston Texans would be feeling pretty good about having Cleveland’s first-round pick next year.
This Watson situation seems far from over, but every development now and going forward is leading us to an ultimate resolution and some finality should be on the somewhat-near horizon.