Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski says the team understands the legal problems Deshaun Watson is facing but adds the team is happy to have the quarterback on board. On Friday, the Browns acquired Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans.
Watson won't be facing any criminal charges but still there are 22 civil lawsuits filled by women who accused the new Browns quarterback of harrasment and sexual assault. “Our organization did a tremendous amount of background on Deshaun.
We understand the concerns and questions that exist but are confident in the extensive work Andrew and his staff have done to feel confident about him joining our organization. It was important for us to meet with Deshaun in person as part of our team’s evaluation process, we had a candid conversation regarding his approach to coming into our organization and community.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to coach Deshaun, he is ready to put in the hard work needed to help our team improve and make a positive impact in our community," Stefanski said in a statement.
Browns owner also released a statement on Watson
Jimmy Haslam and Dee Haslam revealed Watson was "humble and sincere" during their conversation.
With Watson on board, the Browns are done with 2018 No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield. The Mayfield era in Cleveland is officially over and the Browns are now hoping Watson leads them to their first Super Bowl. “We spent a tremendous amount of time exploring and investigating the opportunity to trade for Deshaun Watson.
We are acutely
aware and empathetic to the highly personal sentiments expressed about this decision. Our team’s comprehensive evaluation process was of utmost importance due to the sensitive nature of his situation and the complex factors involved.
We also understand there are still some legal proceedings that are ongoing and we will respect due process. It was pivotal that we, along with Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski, meet with Deshaun to have a straightforward dialogue, discuss our priorities, and hear directly from him on how he wants to approach his career on and off the field," Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Dee Haslam said.
"He was humble, sincere, and candid. In our conversations, Deshaun detailed his commitment to leading our team; he understands and embraces the hard work needed to build his name both in the community and on the field.
Those in-depth conversations, the extensive evaluation process, his dedication to being a great teammate and devotion to helping others within the NFL, within the community, and through his charitable initiatives provided the foundation for us to pursue Deshaun.
We are confident in Deshaun and excited about moving forward with him as our quarterback and supporting his genuine and determined efforts”.