BEREA, OHIO - MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns is introduced by general manager Andrew Berry (L) and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

A hot topic for the NFL season of OFFS!

After a whirlwind tour of being whisked from team facility to team facility and being wooed by coaches, team Owners and front office executives, Deshaun Watson decided about where he would waive his no trade clause for. 

It ended up being the Cleveland Browns who had been eliminated from contention by Deshaun himself.  Watson was thinking he wanted to play in a warm weather city preferably close to home, which would have led him to being traded to Atlanta or New Orleans. 

But after pondering his future, he decided to go to the team with the best roster.  By choosing to wave his no trade clause to clear the way to go to the Browns. 

On top of finally being traded, Cleveland Browns also added money into Deshaun’s contract, and they guaranteed him 230 million dollars over a five-year deal.

BEREA, OHIO – MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns speaks while sitting between general manager Andrew Berry (L) and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The question becomes does a player that still has 20+ pending civil cases due to alleged sexual misconduct deserve to have one of the biggest guarantees of all professional sports?  What is the messaging that the Cleveland Browns organization is sending to its fans? 

The Browns had Baker Mayfield who when health took the Browns to the playoffs and helped them win their first playoff game in decades years. With a healthy Baker Mayfield the Browns have been competitive. Yet the Browns still felt the need to go big and take on a quarter of a billion dollars of guaranteed salary for a player with twenty plus civil lawsuits hanging over his head along with a possible suspension by the NFL.

BEREA, OHIO – MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns looks at his new jersey during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Should a player that has been sitting out due to a legal and moral issue be rewarded with one of the most favorable contracts in all professional sports?  If you are a Cleveland Browns fan but also a victim of sexual assault, are you conflicted? 

What lesson are we teaching our kids and other young athletes that are watching this?  That the lives and safety of women are secondary to winning professional football games. 

Many will push back and say but Watson was never charged, so why should he carry the burden of what comes with being accused of sexual assault. The rebuttal argument is that the American Justice system is not always fair, or the best arbiter of truth or justice even though it should be.

The police officer who killed Eric Garner on tape was never charged with a crime, but does he reserve a raise after choking someone out on camera?  Ray Rice knocked out his fiancé cold in a New Jersey elevator on video, and authorities never charged him, should the Ravens have signed him to a shiny new contract?

I believe in second chances and redemption, but I also believe in accountability.  There were thirteen different teams that pursued Watson, and not one of these teams contacted any of Deshaun Watson’s accusers to get their side of the story. 

Cleveland said that it conducted a deep dive investigation, how is that possible when none of the effected parties were contacted?  The NFL and its owners have proven that winning at all costs, in this case, takes precedence over morality.

After Baker Mayfield wrote a letter saying goodbye to fans seeing the writing on the wall of an impending trade, the Browns reacted to Mayfield’s emotional outburst by saying the needed an “adult” to lead their team.  The person they’d replaced Mayfield with is being accused of serial sexual predator.  Is this what they call “an adult?”


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