Deshaun Watson should resolve the 22 civil cases now

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Today is a new day for Deshaun Watson. With it should come a new resolve.

To settle all 22 of the civil cases pending against him.

Last year, 18 of the plaintiffs were ready to agree to terms. Four holdouts kept a global resolution from being reached, which would have facilitated a trade to the Dolphins. Now, with $10 million earned last year for not playing and a five-year, $230 million contract freshly signed, Watson should pay whatever it takes to turn the page and move on.

It won’t be cheap. It won’t be easy. But his lawyers can come up with a strategy. Make an offer on a Friday afternoon (such as this one) and keep it open until Monday morning, with a threat/promise that there will be no further offers made. Make the offers sufficiently high to make it sufficiently clear that there will be no more offers. And give the plaintiffs until Monday to make a decision.

They have sued for justice in the form of a cash payment. Give it to them. Give them what they want, and end this once and for all.

If they still refuse, Watson’s lawyers have another potential tactic to employ. In most jurisdictions there’s a device known as an offer of judgment, which consists of the defendant making a settlement proposal with the express understanding that, if the plaintiff doesn’t do better than the amount of the offer at trial, the plaintiff must pay all litigation costs incurred from the day the offer was made. It’s a way to force a plaintiff who otherwise has nothing to lose to acquire a potential financial downside to saying no to an otherwise fair settlement offer.

Of course, this approach would result (if the settlement offers are accepted) in an actual judgment against Watson. He technically would be deemed responsible for the claims made against him, making him more susceptible to a league-imposed suspension.

But he’s susceptible to a suspension anyway, however and whenever the settlement is effected. Last year, the Dolphins believed he’d be suspended six games if he settled the cases.

That’s what he needs to do now. Settle the cases. Then take whatever punishment the league may impose. And then move on with his new team in his new city, without having those 22 civil actions distracting him from the task at hand. The task of taking the Browns to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.

55 responses to “Deshaun Watson should resolve the 22 civil cases now

  1. I think their prices went up to settle when they know he’s getting 230M guaranteed now

  2. Watson already knows how much $$$ they want. I bet that this was an (unspoken) part of the contract. Enough guaranteed money to comfortably settle the lawsuit w/ a gag clause. Cleveland doesn’t want Watson suspended either.

  3. Really, really wealthy people simple pay the money and dispense with all the drama & attention.
    For some reason, Watson stubbornly is determined to prove his innocence instead of putting it all to rest & moving on with his life.
    Watson isn’t a billionaire but he has enough money to end things. Don’t know why he won’t.

  4. He could give them each $2 million and it would still be less than one year of that contract. Kind of makes you think some people can get away with anything.

  5. Even with that amount of money I bet we still read about him being broke in 10 years like AP, LT and TO. Vices are expensive, especially when they involve your lower brain….

  6. With regards to the potential NFL suspension, I expect it to be construed as time served and he will be immediately eligible to play. There is no suspension coming, it already happened.

  7. Watson has gotten the WORST advice in this case. Why would you wait to make a settlement offer until AFTER you have agreed to a new contract. You settle before you come into a boatload of money NOT after!!

  8. 22 women accused this scumbag of sexual harassment. Not 2. 22. And he gets $230 million.

    What a country.

  9. Disagree. Hardballing sexual assault / harassment victims is never smart strategy. And just because the prosecutor decided not to prosecute doesn’t mean he/she can’t change their minds. Play it cool, pretend you’re sorry, make them a fair offer, make a half-hearted donation to the battered woman’s shelter and be done.

  10. So if he settles the cases he is admitting guilt, then can’t the da still charge him, even though grand jury did not find him guilty of anything? Also I am sure the NFL will suspend him 6 games or a year…

  11. So Cleveland went all in knowing that he is looking at probably a 6 game suspension and possibly more. In the current environment if he settled and admitted any guilt I bet the suspension is much longer. With about 66 million wrapped up in Watson and Cooper next season teams are likely to offer little compensation for Mayfield, because realistically they can’t afford the cap hit to keep him. This better result in a Superbowl or its going to be ugly

  12. If he hasn’t settled after all this time, I don’t see him doing it now. He seems to believe that if he refuses to settle that’ll make people believe he’s innocent. He’s mistaken.

  13. Fight every one of them and pay as little as possible. This entire situation was always about the money. They all saw an opportunity to go from Instagram models to millionaires and found a ambulance chasing lawyer and decided to make some coin. I would like for Watson to take the 6 game suspension and during that time fight every case and male the story public. We will soon find out how much of it was consensual.. my guess is every one of them knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when meeting up with him. Don’t get me wrong I think he was an idiot on how it all played out but I do not think he is guilty of anything but being an idiot. Even the legal court system and grand jury determined that as well.

  14. What if he wants to go to court to clear his name because he believes he can win? He has the money to pick that fight. I’m not saying I know anything about his guilt or innocence, but when a grand jury doesn’t indict it could mean that his case is strong.

  15. I hope the 22 play hardball with the perv the way he played hard with them.

    Its a sick society when an individual such as Watson, a pervert, nets a 230 million dollar contract. I’ll be rooting against the Browns…

  16. Monster212 says:
    March 18, 2022 at 5:30 pm
    So if he settles the cases he is admitting guilt, then can’t the da still charge him, even though grand jury did not find him guilty of anything? Also I am sure the NFL will suspend him 6 games or a year…
    No. If he settles the cases, the plaintiffs are agreeing to not go forward with their civil suits. It has nothing to do with guilt or innocence, though the court of public opinion will claim otherwise.

  17. Slimeball new owner Jimmy HasMat can help pay. He bought Bill Cosbyin a uniform. Browns be the Browns

  18. There are several things wrong with this “suggestion.” One, I recall VERY EARLY in this litigation where Watson’s attorney said he was willing to settle but he REFUSED to have a confidentiality clause. The plaintiffs’s attorneys rejected that. THEY wanted the terms to be confidential. Which tells me that Watson wanted the settlement amounts public, but they did not.

    Two, the rule in Texas is not an “offer of judgment,” but an “offer of settlement.” It only comes into play if the plaintiff recovers substantially more than the offer, and it does not kick in at all if the defendant prevails at trial. So it is not a useful as Mike implies.

    Three, this all implies that Watson gets some advantage from settling things now. There may be another way to look at this, especially if the claims are weak — make them try the case. Appeal any verdict against him. Take it to the Supreme Court of Texas. Make the plaintiffs’s lawyer work for YEARS to see a nickel. That would send a message to the NFL, too.

    Finally, the supposition is that Watson will get suspended. But no one bothers to explain FOR WHAT he would be suspended. Suspended because he got sued? Or suspended based on a finding that he actually did something that violated the CBA? OK. But that puts the onus on the NFL to explain what he did. I suspect that the reason he has not been suspended yet, a year since these lawsuits were filed, is because, upon close review, the cases look weak. I can see the NFL not wanting to prejudice the cases by coming out and saying they found no evidence of wrongdoing (and the NFL not wanting that heat). So you sit silent until the cases are resolved, one way or another. The fact that the Browns still saw fit to pony up $230 millon fully guaranteed (and three other teams were also in the running) tells me that they had all made their own conclusions about those cases, and their attorneys have found them to be lacking.

    So why settle?

  19. just another long line of bad people in the browns organization, all starting with Kellen Winslow Jr. and Donte Stallworth, Culminating in this sex abuser getting the NFLs largest contract of all time.

  20. He is not appreciably better than Mayfield, he will get hurt or have more legal issues. Last year was the peak of the Browns. It will not be long until they are back to the Hue Jackson era.

  21. An NFL player can be suspended for four games for deflated footballs with little ir no proof, but this pervert will probably walk or get less. I’d wouldn’t be proud to be a Brown’s fan.

  22. 58 years of being a huge fan and its over, extreme lowlife way of handling the whole event, thanks Mr. Haslam for ending my fanship !!!

  23. He somehow finagled a $230M fully guaranteed deal.

    Why settle? Might as well let it ride.

  24. Watson picked the team least likely to compete for a Super Bowl.
    He only cares about the money.

  25. Don’t think Baker Mayfield can join the lawsuit
    but he was Dashaun Watson’s 23rd victim.

  26. They shouldn’t be expecting half of his pay check come on now he doesnt have children with all those women on top of that they got paid after whatever happend during those “events” like they didnt know what was going on

  27. This country is really messed up.

    A 34 year old Millennial with no resume and experience just gave a criminal 230 million guaranteed dollars as a reward for being a creepy sex criminal.

    This country has got to get a handle on oligarchs like this.

  28. Watson worked over Houston to get a new contract.

    He didn’t even finish the first year of that contract before he started whining about playing for them.

    Then he threatened to take his ball and go home unless they traded him to a team of his choice.

    But then he got $10m just to stay home.

    Now he gets $230M guaranteed.

    He has repeatedly demonstrated his true character on and of the field.

    There is no way that he plays to the level of that contract, let alone to the end of it. Some type of adversity- could even be a minor one- will pop up and trigger him. He will pout, whine, and shut down, if not fold altogether.

  29. If he settles the perception will be that he is guilty. As such, so are those supporting him, including the NFL and now the Browns. Abusing women? Wait a second. Isn’t that why Hunt is there?

  30. Well, we know he’s going to demand to pick the O-Coord, the HC, and then the GM.

    It’s what Deshaun Watson does.

    Sure hope there’s no adversity in Cleveland, or they are in a heap o’ trouble.

  31. How much money did the texans owner pay that lawyer that’s what I want to know. I would sue that pants off of the Texans owner let him pay all this off..welcome to the 21st century folks this is all a game that billionaires play

  32. I bet what happend was the year hopkinsbwas still on the texans watson slept with the owners wife and hes had a personal vendetta against him ever since u cant tell me otherwise theres no other reasonable explanation as to why all this has happened

  33. What’s more likely of being true the same thing happend to 22 women or the owner collided with his next door lawyer neighbor who represented the 22 women

  34. Bill OBrien is a moron for putting a NTC in his deal. I wouldve enjoyed seeing Houston force Watson to play, but with all the cases it was not worth that. Just get rid of him.

  35. This season will be a wash for the Browns anyways. Watson has not played in a year, and in his last playing year, the Texans did terrible. Though that year he played great, his morale had to take a hit. He will spend the next twelve games getting back to speed in the NFL with a new playbook and a year off.

  36. Folks, I think we’re getting ready to see a huge lawsuit filed by Watson against the Texans owner and his neighbor, the lawyer who recruited these 22 women. None of whom bothered to call police, and all of whom wanted this to be done away from public eyes. Oh boy! It’s coming. This case smells to high heaven, and it has since the get go. Watson might be a dip stick, but that’s not illegal.

  37. I’m going to put aside any opinions I have about Mr. Watson’s character and behavior, and just speculate about upcoming events.

    1. Judging from the way this contract is structured, Watson and the Browns are expecting a 6 to 12 month suspension from the NFL Commissioner to be applied this year. The reasons given will be similar to Rothlesbergers and Elliots suspensions. The suspension will be announced soon, the NFL wants to rip off the band aid long before the season starts.

    2. As a practical matter, most, if not all, of the women pressing this civil suit should want to settle. Even if the case goes to a civil judge/jury in Texas and they are awarded a judgement, how much will they be awarded? Pretty sure far less than $1 million each. Plus, their lawyer seems to be looking after his own interests and that of his good pal the Texans owner, as opposed to theirs. They would probably get a settlement from Watson if they ditched this lawyer and went with a more sedate, reasoned attorney.

  38. Don’t forget New Orleans and Atlanta wanted him too…if you’re going to bash the Browns.

  39. Maybe Watson agrees with the state that he is innocent of all charges, and simply doesn’t want to pay people who are falsely accusing him?

    Remember, you can indict a ham sandwich. But they couldn’t indict Watson. I can’t blame him for not wanting to give money to someone who is falsely accusing him.

  40. Good advice, since Watson is going to end up paying them anyway. The longer he allows these civil lawsuits to linger, they will delay Watson from stepping onto an NFL field.

    Watson could use 1/2 of his new contract to pay off the lawsuits and get back to work.

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