Cleveland Browns respond to backlash after Deshaun Watson signs with the team in response to sexual misconduct allegations

The team announced that Watson, who initially rejected the deal, is now officially Cleveland's quarterback.

Cleveland Browns respond to backlash after Deshaun Watson signs with the team in response to sexual misconduct allegations

Officially, Deshaun Watson is with the Cleveland Browns.

Despite accusations of sexual misconduct against Watson, the Browns announced that Watson had signed an official contract with them and would become their new quarterback after a trade with Houston Texans.

Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Browns' owners, acknowledged that Watson was controversial, but they expressed confidence in their decision.

The statement stated that the Haslams were "acutely aware" and "empathetic" to the deeply personal feelings expressed by the decision. Due to the delicate nature of his situation, and the complexity of the factors involved, our team had to conduct a thorough evaluation.

Watson was accused by almost two dozen women of misconduct while in Houston before signing with the Browns.

Watson denied any wrongdoing and his lawyer said last week that he "didn't commit any crimes and isn't guilty of any offenses."

Watson was not indicted and charged criminally by a Texas grand jury at the beginning of this month.

Watson will not face criminal charges, but he still faces civil lawsuits from women massage therapists, who accuse him of harassment and assault. Watson could also be facing suspension from the NFL due to his violation of the league's personal behavior policy.

The league will continue to investigate Watson's case despite the trade.

After Watson initially rejected it, the trade to the Browns shocked fans and experts. Watson accepted a trade with the Browns on Friday, despite his no-trade clause.

According to The Associated Press, Watson will be the highest-paid NFL player because of his position as the starting quarterback in Cleveland. Over five years, the guaranteed contract is worth $230million.

Watson posted an image of himself in a Browns jersey to Instagram before the official announcement of the trade.

"Cleveland, LETSSSS GOOOOOOOOO!" #DawgPound Ready To Work!" He wrote it on Instagram.

Watson representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the signing by NBC News.

Kevin Stefanski, the Browns' head coach, said that while he understood the concerns of some about Watson, he still has confidence in him.

"It was important that we met with Deshaun in-person as part of the team's evaluation process. We had a candid discussion regarding his approach to joining our organization and our community," Stefanski stated in a statement.

Stefanski said that Watson is a pleasure to coach and that he looks forward to helping the team improve, as well as making a positive contribution to the community.

Andrew Berry, the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, stated that he believes Watson will also be a positive addition for the team and the community. Berry stated in a statement that Watson was brought on because of the extensive work done by the team over the past several months.

Berry stated, "Deshaun has been amongst the best at the position and understands the work required to re-establish his self on and off the field. Cleveland."

Watson was not the only one who seemed to be open to the possibility.

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center issued a statement acknowledging the difficulties that some would face after the announcement of the trade.

"We are aware that the story of DeShaun Watson joining Cleveland Browns is distressing for many of our neighbors and friends. Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is available 24/7/365 for those in need of additional support," the statement states.

The statement continues: "To the community, we say, we view you. We hear your outrage. It's something we feel too. Every click. Every tweet and post. Every donation is a message.


 

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