Deshaun Watson sat up in front of reporters for the first time in four months as he made it clear that he was interested in answering only football-related questions. After serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Watson is set to make his Cleveland Browns debut this Sunday.
"I understand that you guys have a lot of questions. But with my legal team and my clinical team, there's only football questions I can really address at this time," Watson said, per ESPN. Watson was initially handed a six-game suspension before the league appealed the decision made by independent judge Sue Robinson.
After the NFL appealed, the league and Watson's team settled on an 11-game suspension. On Thursday, Watson was asked why did he decide to settle on an 11-game suspension. "I was just trying whatever I could do to play football in 2022.
Most of the settlement stuff with the NFL was mostly my agency and legal team. I had no control. My main focus was doing everything I needed to do to play this year," Watson answered.
Watson on a mandatory treatment program
As part of his settlement, Watson agreed to pay a $5 million fine and undergo a mandatory treatment program.
Also on Thursday, Watson was asked if he had learned anything from the program. "That's more in that phase of clinical and legal stuff. I've been advised to stay away from that and keep that personal. I'm focusing on football.
That's my main focus is football and preparing to be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns so I can execute the game plan to try to get a win this Sunday," Watson explained. This week, attorney Tony Buzbee revealed some of his clients plan to attend the Browns and Houston Texans game this week as they want to show Watson that "they are still here." "They thought it important to make clear that they are still here and that they matter," Buzbee said.
When asked if he is concerned about some of his accusers attending the game this week, Watson said he's just focused on football. "Like I said, I'm focusing on just being the starting quarterback and executing the game plan. That's my main focus," Watson said. On Sunday, Watson will be playing his first regular season game since 2020.