Deshaun Watson left a good impression during his conversation with Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam and that played a part in the team's decision to make a blockbuster trade for the quarterback. Two grand jury's have cleared Watson of any criminal charges but he still faces 22 lawsuits filled by multiple women.
The Browns have received criticism following their decision to trade for Watson and to give him $230 million in guarantees. "One of the things that has impressed us about Deshaun is his continual drive to get better in all parts of his life, and we think that will continue, if not grow, as he joins our organization," Haslam said, per ESPN.
Dee Haslam said they spent a lot of time "working through this [decision] as a family." "We knew going into this that this could be really hard on individuals and could trigger emotions from individuals who have been through sexual abuse," she said.
"I just have to tell you, our compassion for those individuals is really deep. We know how hard this has been on them."
Watson denies any wrongdoings
Watson has been adamant in his claims that he is innocent.
During his introductory press conference with the Browns, Watson insisted he would never disrespect women on the way he was accused of.
"I understand the whole circumstance is very difficult, especially for the women's side of the fans in this community; I'm not naive to that," Watson said. "The things that are off the field right now that came up caught me by surprise because I never did anything that these people are alleging."
Browns general manager Andrew Berry put up a trade package that satisfied the Houston Texans. Berry claimed the team did their due diligence on Watson before pulling off a trade. “We look forward to having Deshaun as our starting quarterback.
We have done extensive investigative, legal and reference work over the past several months to provide us with the appropriate information needed to make an informed decision about pursuing him and moving forward with him as our quarterback.
Deshaun has been among the very best at the position and he understands the work needed to re-establish himself on and off the field in Cleveland. We are confident that he will make positive contributions to our team and community as we support his return to football," Browns general manager Berry said in a statement.