- Deshaun Watson was traded to the Browns and given a $230 million contract.
- Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits over sexual misconduct but will not face criminal charges.
- Members of the sports world took to Twitter to criticize the Browns for the move.
The Cleveland Browns agreed to a monster deal with the Houston Texans on Friday to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson.
In addition to sending five draft picks to the Texans, the Browns agreed to give Watson a five-year, $230 million contract extension, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal is fully guaranteed, with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reporting that the guaranteed money is $80 million more than the second-highest in NFL history.
The move comes a week after a Texas grand jury decided that Watson will not face criminal charges over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Watson has been accused by 22 women of sexual misconduct and coercion during massage sessions; those civil lawsuits remain unresolved.
According to ESPN, Watson is being investigated by the NFL and could still face punishment from the league.
Watson did not play during the 2021 season after requesting a trade from the Texans.
Several Twitter users blasted the Browns for the deal.
—Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) March 18, 2022
—Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) March 18, 2022
—Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) March 18, 2022
—gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 18, 2022
—Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) March 18, 2022
—Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 18, 2022
—Jason Schwartz (@JasonSchwartz) March 18, 2022
—John Barr ESPN (@JohnBarrESPN) March 18, 2022
There were other prominent voices in the sports world, however, that expressed their support, including NBA superstar and Akron, Ohio, native LeBron James.
—LeBron James (@KingJames) March 18, 2022
Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, who played for the Cleveland Indians for six seasons, also tweeted congratulations. Bauer, who hasn’t pitched since last June 28, is still on administrative leave, through at least April 16, after he, too, was accused of sexual misconduct. Like Watson, Bauer will not face criminal charges.
—Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) March 18, 2022