The ongoing legal saga involving Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson took a big turn on Tuesday. Watson agreed to settle civil lawsuits with 20 of his 24 accusers, leaving just four active complaints of sexual misconduct against Watson from his time with the Houston Texans.
Many have long held the belief that the NFL is waiting to mete out its disciplinary action on Watson once the civil cases were resolved. But despite the resolution of 83 percent of the cases with the settlements, the NFL is not going to proceed before it has to. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com,
“Today’s development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.”
So while we’re closer to an end, we’re still nowhere near the end. There is no timetable for the remaining civil cases to be adjudicated in Texas. The NFL’s own disciplinary process is not tied to the civil cases; the allegations against Watson and his potentially lascivious actions with massage therapists can be completed by the league on its own. But at this point, the NFL has not shown any propensity to do so. McCarthy’s statement to Cabot doubles down on that stance.