Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Richard/AP/Shutterstock (13447271a) Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks on the field during an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, in Cleveland. Watson is expected to return to the Cleveland Browns’ facility on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, as the polarizing quarterback continues serving his 11-game NFL suspension for alleged sexual misconduct Browns Watson Football, Cleveland, United States – 27 Aug 2022
Considering Deshaun Watson attempted to say nothing when meeting the media Thursday about his legal situation, he said everything in four words.
Once upon a time, Deshaun Watson was supposed to be the savior of the Houston Texans. Watson was the franchise quarterback that the organization so desperately wanted to find. He was going to be the man to take them to the promised land.
He was also going to be the next J.J. Watt. Watson had a squeaky clean image, a man of the people, charitable works, the total package. He even donated his first NFL paycheck to NRG Stadium workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Texans fans could love Watson the way they loved Watt, both on and off the field.
Until, you know …
While Watt’s biggest crime was taking shirtless selfies of him working out, Watson’s were much greater. The idea of Watson quitting on the team and demanding a trade before his signature on his contract extension was even dry is a mere footnote on his transgressions.
Never lost in the mix of the 30-something women (some filed civil suits, some filed criminally, some have not filed yet, according to Tony Buzbee – the Houston-based attorney who represented all of the women) is the fact that Watson has never shown one ounce of any remorse for his actions. He has, at times, been downright defiant; he has done nothing wrong at all, and it is he who is the true victim in all of this.
It is a sharp, steep fall from savior to pariah.
Sunday, the pariah returns to his former home, to the scene of his crimes, and I can only hope Texans fans will not let him off easy just because the NFL did.
Watson has made a habit of making a jerk of himself every time he tries to speak on his sexual assault cases. His defiance, acting like he is the victim, the fake apologies where he is apologizing to essentially no one in particular or to just anyone who felt bad about the whole situation, all of these things continue to show that we all had Watson pegged wrong. He is nothing like Watt. He is not a good person. He appeared to prey on women and essentially got away with it.
Watson got a slap-on-the-wrist 11-game suspension from the NFL, one that saw him get to negotiate the terms of the suspension ahead of time, a first for the NFL. He kept his suspension to the first year of his contract, which he and the Browns specifically structured, anticipating a suspension in his first year and paying him a token $402,500 salary so he would lose the least possible amount of money during that suspension. His salary increases to $46 million each of the following four years and is fully guaranteed. It is the largest fully guaranteed contract in NFL history.
“I understand that you guys have a lot of questions,” Watson stated Thursday when addressing the media. “But with my legal team and my clinical team, there’s only football questions I can really address at this time.”
Honestly, hiding behind his legal team was probably the best decision he could make, as it prevented him from saying things even more offensive.
At least, it should have.
Even in trying to say nothing, Watson said everything you need to know about the kind of man he has become. He said it in four little words.
When asked why he agreed to an 11-game suspension from the NFL if he is as innocent as he claims, Watson could not help himself from shoving his foot in his mouth yet again.
“I was just trying whatever I could do to play football in 2022,” Watson claimed. “Most of the settlement stuff with the NFL was mostly my agency and legal team. I had no control. My main focus was doing everything I needed to do to play this year.”
He had no control. How ironic.
He seemingly had no control over urges around these female masseuses. No control over his defiant attitude or dismissive statements. No control over his ego.
Now he claims he had no control over his career and wants to ignore that he felt he had no control over his career because he seemingly had no control over himself for nearly two years with over 30 different women. The irony just drips off of his shameless words of self-victimization.
The women did not matter. Right and wrong did not matter. Even the money did not matter since the Browns gave him a $45 million signing bonus. Just get back on the field and pretend it never happened. It will all go away.
That is what Watson hopes to happen. He can get back to football, hopefully, play well, and get everyone to talk about him and winning and not his disgraceful transgressions with all of those women.
The NFL hopes for this too, which is why they gave him a slap-on-the-wrist suspension and made him pay $5 million of his $45 million signing bonus as a fine. He paid one-ninth of his signing bonus as a fine.
Watson had no control, he claims. Watson wants to be the victim, not the women. He wants the world to forget all about them.
Do not let him forget, Texans fans. Boo the hell out of him every single play. Remind him how he quit on your team before he revealed himself to be of the lowest moral character.
I know it is hard to consider the fact that, as a Texans fan, you do not have a franchise quarterback anymore, but I am so glad I do not have to watch or cover Watson anymore. If I did, I would probably write a scathing commentary on him every single day.
I would have no control.