Tuesday June 21st 2022 news broke of an agreed settlement between Deshaun Watson and 20 of his 24 accusers. This news may have come by surprise for many and not so for others. As a result the settlement seems as an about face from his public comments last week at Browns mini camp. His comments response were “I want to clear my name”.
Watson’s Civil Lawsuits Coverage
In America you are innocent until proven guilty. For years that has not been the case. Same goes for Deshaun Watson in these civil cases. Tony Buzbee tried these cases in the court of public opinion and undoubtedly won the PR campaign. Various national media covered this case and slammed Watson, without any thought of his side of things. Some lean towards believing 24 women who’ve accused Watson, and others support Deshaun. Some lawyers even considered this as a smear campaign on the part of Tony Buzbee and the national media. Which leads to the NFLPA wanting to defend Watson.
NFLPA vs League Officials
Reports came out last week that the NFLPA are gearing up to defend Watson against an unprecedented suspension the league may push for. As well reports came out that league officials will push for 1 year suspension if they do not agree with the proposal given by the NFL’s disciplinary committee. The angle the NFLPA plans to take is targeting three prominent owners. Dan Snyder, Robert Kraft, and Jerry Jones. Each owner who’s transgressions have gone unpunished from the NFL its self. These three would probably be the three most popular owners in the league. For the NFL not to hold owners accountable is completely erroneous. Which may provide a reason for a settlement in Watson’s cases.
Deshaun Watson’s Settlement
The 26 year old quarterback has settled all but four cases. Terms of the civil cases are confidential and once the paperwork is processed the 20 cases will be dismissed. The other 4 cases including Ashely Solis, the first accuser, has not settled her case. Tony Buzbee her attorney plans to continue to move forward with the other 4 cases. Will this lessen a possibly suspension and or speed the disciplinary process? Reasons for the settlement are unknown at the moment but one can wonder.
Behind The Scenes
Could the NFL, Cleveland Browns, and his attorney Rusty Hardin possibly pressured him into settling. I believe that once the Houston Texans were talked about being added the NFL had a vested interest for this to all go away sooner rather than later. For the Cleveland Browns I believe from the beginning the goal was a settlement. It could be a possible negation tactic on the part of the NFLPA to adequately defend Watson against the league officials.
With 20 cases being resolved there is a path for an ending. At this point for Deshaun Watson his camp wants to get back to football. Ultimately I believe that by the start of the season this will all be resolved. In one way or another I would say that the NFL told Watson and his camp to get these suits resolved or you will be suspended for a year. League officials will try and push for a full year and the NFLPA will push for a 0 game suspension. The two sides will meet in the middle with a maximum suspension being between 8-12 games with appeals. A settlement is what’s best for all parties and most importantly Deshaun Watson to begin rebuilding his name and playing football once again.