Deshaun Watson’s Controversial Return To The NFL

Clevland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Waton

Clevland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Waton

Sawyer Kehn, Staff Writer

Deshaun Watson’s last full year of football occurred in 2020, where he threw a total of 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions. The young superstar looked like he had a long bright career ahead of him as a Houston Texan. In March 2021, that all changed. 

On March 16th, 2022 a massage therapist by the name of Ashley Solis filed a lawsuit against the NFL star claiming that he sexually assaulted her in her home while she was giving him a massage. Once the news broke, the NFL world was shocked: how could such a beloved athlete do such a thing? This, however, was only just the beginning. The very next day on March 17th, another lawsuit was filed against Deshaun. This lawsuit claimed a very similar thing, but this time claiming that it happened at The Houstonian Hotel. This sent the league into an uproar, not one, but two allegations in two days? It was safe to say that the young superstar’s career was on the line. He decided to sit out the 2021 season; during the season, an astounding 22 more lawsuits were filed against him. 

The Houston Texans organization wanted nothing to do with him anymore and decided to put him on the trade block. Many teams like the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Cleveland Browns were quick to jump in and bid for the young quarterback. This all ended when the Browns offered Watson a five-year, 230,000,000 dollar contract completely guaranteed. This was the most controversial move of the entire off-season. Many speculated that due to the allegations that Watson could be permanently banned from the league. It was now time to play the waiting game as a judge was appointed to sentence Watson to a suspension. 2 days passed, and finally, the judge gave Watson a six-game suspension. Many thought this was a light slap on the wrist. Later on, that same week, the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, appealed the ban and it was speculated that he was going to either extend the ban to a season or completely ban Watson from the league. The league sat and waited for a week to hear the ruling. Finally, Goodell announced that Watson would receive an 11-game ban. Deshaun Watson is now set to return this week after almost 2 years of not playing football.

The Cleveland Browns are going to face Watson’s former team this week: the Houston Texans. The Texans are currently the worst team in the league with a 1-9-1 record. The Browns aren’t doing much better with a 4-7 record, however, the Browns boast one of the best rushing games in the league with Superstars Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt at running back and a star-studded offensive line with pro bowl guard Joe Bitonio. It wouldn’t be surprising if during his return Watson doesn’t throw the ball more than 15 times. 

This controversy will never go away when talking about Deshaun Watson, like many players before him that went through controversy including Micheal Vick and OJ Simpson. However at only the age of 27 he still has many prime years of football ahead of him.