Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reached settlements with 20 of the 24 women who have filed lawsuits against him alleging sexual misconduct.
Watson recently signed a mammoth five-year, $230 million deal with the Browns, the largest guaranteed deal in NFL history – however, is still set to face suspension following the settlements.
SPORTbible Daily duo Shad Wicka and Katie Brown had their say on the settlements claiming it was ‘a good trade-off’ to continue earning his huge pay day.
Shad Wicka said: “When you think about it, $42 million guaranteed in the first year, $20 million of that (to the women) to be able to continue to get your $230 million - I think that’s a good trade off.”
The comments come after Deshaun Watson had initially claimed to have wanted to clear his name rather than reach a settlement with those who had filed the lawsuit.
Shad Wicka said: “A year ago when this first came out Deshaun and his legal team refused to sign confidentiality agreements, he wanted to tell his story.
“It’s weird now that when 20 of them get settled there is (now) confidentiality agreements.”
Katie Brown added: “I don’t want to assume, but if there’s confidentiality agreements in place, my thinking is they could be pretty rich and he’s said goodbye to a little bit of pocket money.”
The women suing Watson had accused him of inappropriate behaviour during massages he had paid for while playing for the Houston Texans.
He has denied such allegations claiming that any sexual activity that may have taken place was consensual.
The SPORTbible Daily duo’s comments echo the sentiment that the Cleavland Browns simply wanted this lawsuit to go away, while Watson continues to earn his guaranteed $230 million.
Vic Tafur, a writer for The Athletic, tweeted: “Deshaun Watson said he wouldn't settle so he could clear his name ... He wrote large checks to 20 alleged sexual assault victims today.
“NFL happy because he's closer to throwing TD passes again.
“Browns happy -- they gave him largest guaranteed deal ever to help write checks.”
Deshaun Watson said he wouldn't settle so he could clear his name ... He wrote large checks to 20 alleged sexual assault victims today.— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) June 21, 2022
NFL happy because he's closer to throwing TD passes again.
Browns happy -- they gave him largest guaranteed deal ever to help write checks.🤮
Lawyer for the 24 women, Tony Buzbee noted in a statement that Ashley Soils - the first woman to speak publicly - is one of the four women who have not settled.
Buzbee said: “Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to trying these cases in due course, consistent with other docket obligations and the court’s schedule.”
She added: “The truth is, without her courage and willingness to come forward, the NFL wouldn’t currently be contemplating discipline; there would be no examination of how teams might knowingly or unknowingly enable certain behaviour.”
According to the Washington Post, the NFL is looking to serve Watson a ‘significant’ suspension for the lewd acts regardless of the settlement, with Watson’s team expecting a full-season suspension.