The 24th Deshaun Watson accuser could give Cleveland Browns the right to void his contract

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson gets ready to snap the ball during OTA practice on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Berea.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson gets ready to snap the ball during OTA practice on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Berea. /

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes the newest accusation could void Deshaun Waton’s contract with the Cleveland Browns.

Mike Florio is a sports writer and personality for Pro Football Talk, and he’s also a former lawyer who focused on labor law. He’s pretty astute when it comes to the legal proceedings and when it comes to legal proceedings, he shouldn’t be dismissed. So when he starts talking about the legality of a contract between a player, in this case, Deshaun Watson, and his team, the Cleveland Browns; fans should listen.

Watson was hit with his 24th lawsuit recently, this time by a woman not previously known to Watson’s attorneys. The firm handling Watson knew of the 23 other women who filed suits, and so did everyone else to some degree. When the Cleveland Browns talked about how they did their due diligence (ha) the 23 women that filed suits were whom they were referring to.

This is a new suit, by a new woman, with horrifying new accusations. Due to the fact that the Browns and Watson’s own firm didn’t know about the 24th accuser, Florio surmises that the Browns may be able to void Watson’s deal should it come to that.

Florio was able to get a copy of Watson’s contract back in April, and the contract language seemingly says “ok we’re fine with all of this, but if one more new one pops up…”.

As Florio explains it;

"As explained in early April, after we obtained a full copy of Watson’s contract, the contract exempts from the standard default/guarantee void language a suspension imposed by the league “solely in connection with matters disclosed to Club in writing pursuant to paragraph 42 and such suspension results in Player’s unavailability to Club solely for games during the 2022 or 2023 NFL League Years.”In paragraph 42 of the contract, Watson “represents and warrants (except as disclosed to club in writing), as of the date hereof, that (i) Player has not been charged with, indicted for, convicted of or pled nolo contende to any felony and/or misdemeanor involving fraud or moral turpitude, (ii) Player has not engaged in conduct which would subject him to a charge, indictment or conviction of any such offense, and (iii) no circumstances exist that would prevent Player’s continuing availability to the Club for the duration of this Contract.”The written disclosure was not attached to the contract. A source with knowledge of the document told us in April that it’s a “fair assumption” that it refers to the 22 pending civil lawsuits."

The 24th lawsuit was never disclosed to the club. Would a 24th edge out the 22 others previously known? Who knows, but straw did eventually break the camel’s back. So who knows how many more they’re willing to accept.

It’s fair to say that if there was a previously undisclosed 24th (alleged) victim, then there’s probably more. After all, more than 40 women in the span of 18 months have claimed to have worked on Watson, 24 of them alleging some sort of sexual misconduct transpired, while a 25th, one that Watson’s lawyer brought in, believed that Watson was trying to sleep with the massage therapists.

When your own witness torpedoes your defense, that’s gotta hurt.

The Cleveland Browns aren’t likely to try to void the contract but they should

The story is changing every day for Watson and his defense. First, it was that he never did anything wrong, then it was that he only engaged in sex acts with three women who he claims instigated it. Then he said he would never disrespect a woman, then he admitted to making a massage therapist cry, but didn’t say why and hid behind the fifth amendment. Then his lawyer said, basically “so what” to Watson seeking out sexual release from strangers who were massaging him.

Now we have more alleged victims coming forward to tell their stories. Eventually, the Browns are going to have to start answering questions. The sad thing is, even if I still believed Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski were decent men, I never thought Jimmy Haslam was. The man threw his own daughters under the bus to justify trading for #(2)4, so I don’t see Haslam voiding the deal.

For those curious, this also re-opens Watson to being indicted for criminal charges if the most recent accuser decides to pursue that direction.

Factor in that the Texans demanded Watson have his dinner dates sign non-disclosure agreements, as well as his paying a Houston spay owner $5 grand, and you really start to see the picture forming.

Occam’s Razor says that if you hear hoof beats in Montana, think horse; not zebra. That should be attributed here, as there seems to be a stampede heading Watson’s way and the Browns should do what they do best, cover their own rears.

dark. Next. Every member of the 2020 Cleveland Browns draft class on the verge of being cut