Two women who accused Deshaun Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct have convicted the Cleveland Browns for giving the quarterback a guaranteed contract of $230 million, an NFL record, after trading for his services, reports by ESPN.
“It’s just like a slap in the face,” Ashley Solis said of the Browns in an interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” which is set to air Tuesday night.
“That’s how it feels. Who cares. He can run and throw, and that’s what matters to us.
Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions.
Two Texas grand juries have refused to pursue criminal charges, and Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
The NFL is investigating whether Watson violated its Code of Conduct policy; The league interviewed Watson in person last week as part of its investigation.
The league said the investigation was complete.
In addition to blaming the Browns, Solis told HBO that she felt threatened by Watson after their massage session.
“He just said, ‘I know you have a career to protect,'” she said. “And I know you don’t want anyone to get involved, just as I don’t want anyone to meddle in mine.’
“For me, that’s when I was really scared.”
Cleveland then gave Watson a new five-year contract, worth $80 million more than the previous record held by quarterback Aaron Rodgers who signed a contract extension with the Green Bay Packers during the offseason.
Kyla Hayes, who also accused Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct, called the contract “sick.”
“I felt like he was being rewarded for his bad behavior,” she told HBO.
Leah Graham, one of Watson’s lawyers, told HBO that Watson “had no regrets because he didn’t do anything wrong.”
“He didn’t do anything wrong with those massages,” Graham said. And although – to your first question, ‘How can he be innocent?’
The real question is, ‘What evidence is there of any guilt?’
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, at a press conference, is asked for a timeline on the Deshaun Watson investigation. He says the NFL is “nearing the end of the investigation,” but he offers no timeline on the disciplinary officer issuing a ruling.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 24, 2022