Developments tied to Deshaun Watson’s legal woes continued to surface Friday.
NFL officials want to meet with Watson again after interviewing him this week in Houston, according to a report from Cleveland TV station Fox 8, and several of the Browns quarterback’s accusers participated in an interview that is scheduled to air Tuesday night on HBO.
Watson met with the league this week in Houston as it investigates whether he violated its personal conduct policy.
On Friday, Fox 8 reported Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, said the league wants to meet with Watson again. Hardin did not immediately respond to the Beacon Journal’s request for comment, and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “We will decline comment as the review is active and ongoing.”
Despite Watson being accused by 24 women of sexual misconduct during massage appointments and 22 of those women suing him, the Browns traded for the three-time Pro Bowl selection on March 18 in a historic deal with the Houston Texans. The Browns also gave Watson a five-year contract worth a record-setting $230 million fully guaranteed.
Several of the women who have accused Watson of sexual misconduct were interviewed for an episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” According to a news release from the network, the women detailed the alleged abuse they suffered and shared their reactions to Watson’s record-breaking contract with the Browns.
In March, two Texas grand juries combined to decline to indict Watson on 10 criminal complaints, but the 22 civil lawsuits remain active. Watson has denied all wrongdoing and said he doesn’t intend to settle the lawsuits because he wants to clear his name.
Even though Watson has not been charged, he could still be suspended by the league.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly stated there is no time frame for when former U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson, a disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association, will render a decision on whether Watson violated the personal conduct policy.
“Remaining schedule is unclear but they clearly want to complete it sometime this summer,” Hardin said, according to Fox 8.
If Robinson punishes Watson and he appeals her decision, Goodell or a designee would handle the appeal, according to the rules outlined in the personal conduct policy.
Amid scrutiny from the league, Watson is hosting the majority of Browns players who play offense for team-bonding time and workouts in the Bahamas over the weekend. Running back Nick Chubb is among the players who posted a photograph from Nassau on social media Thursday.
Watson and other Browns players will engage in more on-field work together next week because the franchise will begin organized team activity practices Tuesday at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea.