QB Deshaun Watson has rejoined the Cleveland Browns this week, halfway through the 11-game suspension settlement agreement with the NFL. Watson has limitations upon his return to the organization as he ramps up to play in his first regular season game with the team in Week 13.
Thursday night brought news that Watson’s civil troubles are not over. Watson has settled 23 of the 24 civil cases against him but a new one was just filed by an anonymous massage therapist:
A new lawsuit has been filed against #Browns QB Deshaun Watson, as another woman, a licensed massage therapist only identified as "Jane Doe," accuses him of seeking sex during a massage session in 2020 and being able to "pressure her into oral sex."— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 14, 2022
The limited information available at this time related to this lawsuit presents similar features as the charges that led to Watson’s suspension. On the field, this is important as the settlement agreement would preclude additional discipline for similar charges:
The settlement covers the four cases Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled on, as well as any substantially similar violations before the date of the agreement (Aug. 18). So, any new allegations of the same conduct from 2019-2021 wouldn’t be subject to NFL investigation or discipline.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 19, 2022
As has been extensively covered throughout the offseason, Watson’s legal issues started while he was still with the Houston Texans, prior to Cleveland trading for the quarterback. Watson and the NFL settled on an 11-game suspension with a large fine and other stipulations to bring closure to the disciplinary process.