The Deshaun Watson Saga

Explaining the Deshaun Watson Situation


With  Deshaun Watson finally being traded from the Houston Texans, I am here to explain what happened and why he  is able to play.It has been nearly a year since Houston attorney Tony Buzbee filed multiple civil lawsuits against Deshaun Watson, accusing the Texans quarterback of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault.

The whole situation began after Watson requested a trade from the Houston Texans in January of 2021. Just two months later, the first sexual assault allegation was brought to light. Once the first lawsuit came out, more began piling up until they reached a total of 22 lawsuits against Watson. He went from being one of the best quaterbacks in the NFL, to his entire career in jeopardy. As a result of the lawsuits he was forced  to the sideline by the Houston Texans as both the FBI and NFL investigated the situation. He did not publicly comment on the lawsuits. However, he said on Twitter that he had “never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect” and that he had rejected “a baseless six-figure settlement demand” made by Buzbee before the first suit was filed. Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta, publicly defended his client in social media posts on March 19. During his investigation, many teams were interested in trading for him, but were unwilling to until his legal situation had been resolved.


For a few months there was very little news regarding the case until last week. On Friday March 11, Watson was not indicted on the 9 legal cases pending against him. However, the legal cases are separate from the 22 civil lawsuits. These suits can no longer effect Watson legally. However, the NFL can still decide if these open civil suits are enough to see Watson suspended for the first 6 games of the regular season.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is still determining whether or not Deshaun Watson should go on the commissioner’s exempt list, adding the league is adamant about not interfering with investigations into allegations that Watson committed sexual misconduct and sexual assault.

“There obviously are other legal approaches that are being made, either through the civil cases,” Goodell said, “Obviously the police have been investigating also. We don’t have all the access to that information at this point in time, and we pride ourselves on not interfering in that, being as cooperative as we can to make sure we get all the facts.


After trading for Watson, the Cleveland Browns released the following statement,

“We spent a tremendous amount of time exploring and investigating the opportunity to trade for Deshaun Watson. We are acutely aware and empathetic to the highly personal sentiments expressed about this decision. Our team’s comprehensive evaluation process was of utmost importance due to the sensitive nature of his situation and the complex factors involved. We also understand there are some legal proceedings that are ongoing and we will respect due process.”

The Texans traded Watson in return for for a 2022 first-round draft pick, 2023 first- and third-round picks and 2024 first- and fourth-round picks, Houston announced Friday. Cleveland also receives a 2024 fifth-round draft pick as part of the trade. This trade  has now resulted in the Browns’ previous Quarterback, Baker Mayfield to request a trade.

A huge factor in the decision by quarterback Deshaun Watson to waive his no-trade clause and be traded to the Cleveland Browns was the lucrative contract he signed. The deal is worth $230 million dollars in all over five seasons and is fully guaranteed.

Watson’s contract comes with a pretty straight forward deal.

Signing bonus: $44.965 million, spread out over the length of the five year deal, averaging $8.993 million each season.

2022 base salary: $1.035 million, fully guaranteed.

2023 base salary: $46 million, fully guaranteed.

2024 base salary: $46 million, fully guaranteed.

2025 base salary: $46 million, fully guaranteed.

2026 base salary: $46 million, fully guaranteed.

This contract is monumental for the NFL and will be extremely influential in future contracts for every position. This is the first contract in NFL history where the money is 100% guaranteed.