Browns won’t cancel Watson’s contract amid new allegations

Nothing has happened since signing QB Deshaun Watson in March that caused Browns to consider terminating his contractPHIL MASTURZO/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Browns ‘are not looking to rescind’ QB Deshaun Watson’s NFL record, a fully guaranteed $230 million contract or trade with the Texans, despite ‘new civil lawsuits and allegations’ against him, sources say Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. The Browns have “typical club protection” that “would allow them to rescind the contract in the event that actions take place after he was signed, or prior actions come to light that prevent him from performing his duties.” But so far, nothing “has happened since he signed the deal” in March that has caused the Browns to “change their view of Watson or consider trying to get out of the contract.” Even, sources said nothing “has happened for the Browns to attempt to undo the blockbuster trade with the Texans” even though they “will soon be added to the lawsuits as a defendant for allegedly allowing the misconduct by Watson”. It is “almost a foregone conclusion” that Watson will be “suspended, either for a specific number of games or indefinitely”, in which case he is expected to miss all of Season 22 and seek reinstatement thereafter. NFL has “no indication as to when it will make a decision. oches of the situation “expect to hear something before the start of training camp” at the end of July, perhaps “at the beginning of the month” (DEALER Cleveland PLAIN, 6/11).

SHARE THE BLAMES: In Boston, Ben Volin wrote “nobody comes out of it in style”. Watson “could be forced out” for yet another season. The Browns “look awful for kissing Watson” and “may still need to find a quarterback for this year.” The Texans “are now dragged into the lawsuit and could be found.” at least partially responsible. A one-year suspension “seems within the realm of possibility.” The NFL “must go further than the six games” given to Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott in 17. A “slight difference” this time: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “no longer imposes initial discipline”. It was “pretty shameful” when the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson “despite those allegations hanging over him.” But the contract the team gave Watson “protects him from any kind of financial liability.” Watson’s alleged actions are “pretty dirty”, but Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and the team “look disgusting too” (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/12).

: In Cleveland, Ted Diadiun writes that the “disastrous predictions” for Watson that many are making are “exaggerated”. By the time Watson “wins his first victory for the Browns” at FirstEnergy Stadium, whatever the timing, “all will be forgiven…if not, perhaps, forgotten.” The crowd will “erupt into a cacophony of barking and cheering” and “sporty chatterboxes will embrace a burgeoning group of armchair pundits.” The waiting list for subscriptions will “grow longer” and “the intoxicating aroma of Super Bowl fever will spread.” Diadiun: “Pushed into the background, this affair in Houston which cast a veil over Watson’s arrival.” That “doesn’t mean it’s an admirable, or even defensible, reaction,” and it’s “not to diminish the accusations of sexual imposition against the quarterback that have been made by a growing assemblage of massage therapists who have filed a civil lawsuit, which as of today is number 24.” Diadiun: “I’m just saying, as a long-time observer of the mercurial nature of sports fans, that everything will take a back seat to what happens on the pitch when Watson takes over” (DEALER Cleveland PLAIN, 6/13).