Haslam: Did we give Deshaun Watson a second chance because he’s a star QB? Well, of course

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As the Browns, Deshaun Watson and the NFL attempt to spin their way into getting the public to accept Watson’s 11-game suspension as a sufficient punishment for two dozen allegations of inappropriate actions toward female massage therapists, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam briefly let some candor slip.

Speaking today about why the Browns are standing by Watson and eager to hand him their starting quarterback job after the 11-game suspension ends, Haslam initially spoke about his belief in second chances.

“Is he never supposed to play again? Is he never supposed to be a part of society? Does he get no chance to rehabilitate himself? That’s what we’re gonna do,” Haslam said.

But then Haslam acknowledged the obvious: This isn’t about Haslam’s support of second chances, it’s about Haslam’s desire to have a franchise quarterback.

“You can say that’s because he’s a star quarterback. Well, of course,” Haslam acknowledged.

And that’s ultimately what the Browns’ pursuit of Watson, their decision to pull off an enormous trade involving three first-round draft picks for Watson, and their decision to give Watson the biggest guaranteed contract in NFL history is all about: He’s a star quarterback, and the Browns are willing to overlook a lot to get a star quarterback. Of course.

61 responses to “Haslam: Did we give Deshaun Watson a second chance because he’s a star QB? Well, of course

  1. Honesty and second chances are rare in today’s disposable, cancel culture. Good for Haslam.

  2. A rare moment of candor. It would almost be refreshing if it all wasn’t so dirty.

  3. He’s a garbage time stat stuffer whose numbers are fool’s gold, not a star quarterback. The Russell Westbrook of the NFL.

  4. Football always wins out in this country. Don’t like it? Stop watching. Yeah, you won’t. Gripe all you want, the fans are the reason we give special treatment to these guys. As long as you watch, they will be on the field.

  5. The media have perfected the art of stoking the embers of tension in society. Harping on public opinion in ALL matters is akin to continuing the spirit of witch hunting.

  6. The Browns are disgusting I used to root for them when they weren’t playing Cincinnati just cuz I felt bad for their fans but now no I hope they lose every single game again

  7. Brissett for 12 games ? May need another younger QB, though Biscuit, Minshew or Darnold wont settle for backing up Watson.

  8. We read so many lies, so someone just shrugging and telling the truth like that is refreshing. And the fact is, now that he just put it right out there and buried the question, the matter is kind of over. Its like “next subject?”.

  9. “Honesty” and “Deshaun Watson” are terms that don’t belong in the same thought. Seriously?

  10. “Is he never supposed to play again? Is he never supposed to be a part of society? Does he get no chance to rehabilitate himself? That’s what we’re gonna do,” Haslam said.

    —————

    Rehabilitation is an interesting point. I don’t think most people said he should never get a second chance, but is he really going to be rehabilitated after 11 missed games and a 5 million dollar fine? Does he understand why his behavior was predatory and creepy and will he stop doing that in the future? It didn’t sound like that when he was maintaining his innocence in his statement. I worry he doesn’t change at all and he just hides his behavior better until we find out at some point he’s mistreated more women.

  11. His designated return is against his former team? Ratings motivated maybe?

    This alone tells me that the 4 cases the NFL took to the Judge were circumstantial at best. No force. No violence. No coercion.

    The NFL needed to look tough but they realized it was literally he said vs she saids. The NFL knew they could suspend him for a year but they negotiated?

    C’mon. If this isn’t an admission that he didn’t break the law, then I’m not sure what else to tell you.

    Nonviolent sexual assault would merit criminal charges. But two grand juries didn’t see enough to indict. And they looked at ALL the accusations and arrived at that conclusion.

    The NFL saw 4 and said “yep, he broke the law”. Okay.

  12. Too bad there isn’t a way that the NFLPA can guarantee non-star players a second chance. Maybe in the next collective bargaining agreement they can negotiate something where owners are incentivized to give the other players another chance to do the right thing. It doesn’t have to stay the way it is.

  13. America 2022…. Sad when you have Millionaires and Billionaires that think this way.

  14. If Watson plays in week 13, it will have been 700 days since he last played in the NFL. Time served! Move on people.

  15. What’s the over/under on games played before Watson gets injured – 2.5? Players who sit out two years don’t usually handle NFL contact very well when they come back.

  16. “Is he never supposed to play again? Is he never supposed to be a part of society? Does he get no chance to rehabilitate himself?
    ——————————————————————————————
    Being a part of society and rehabilitating himself are separate issues from playing in the NFL.

    His public statements seem like they were done as minimum gesture to cut a deal with the NFL. From the outside, he does not seem contrite, which I think would be needed for rehabilitation.

  17. As despicable as the whole situation is, Haslam has the sense to just tell it like it is instead of trying to spin it into something more palatable. Putting out some tripe about how the Browns value the feelings of the impacted victims and maybe throw some money at it just keeps the criticism coming. No doubt where the Browns values lie; it may be distasteful but it is honest I guess.

  18. That statement alone speaks volumes of not only the
    Cleveland Browns but the NFL as well.

  19. You can write all you want, no excuse is big enough to allow what Watson did and he will play this year.

  20. The real punishment will come from visiting stadiums. It will never die down. We will see how long he can stand the verbal abuse he will receive.

  21. Of course people deserve a second chance, if they paid the price. Michael Vick paid the price (prison time for 21 months) and still got a second chance, however, it just seems like Deshaun Watson didn’t get what he deserved.

  22. Just don’t tell us you want an adult in the QB room when Deshaun has 20+ lawsuits against him.

  23. Haslam obviously has no morals. While I feel badly for the fans, I hope that the Browns are 0-11 when Watson returns.

  24. At least that clown is honest about having low character requirements. I know he was unsavory.

  25. bengal4573 says:
    August 18, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    The Browns are disgusting I used to root for them when they weren’t playing Cincinnati just cuz I felt bad for their fans but now no I hope they lose every single game again

    ***************

    A Bengals fan talking like this is the epitome of hypocrisy.

  26. commonsensenowconsideredmisinformation says:
    August 18, 2022 at 1:44 pm
    He should be in prison
    =====================================
    Two grand juries, actual legal entities and not the NFL’s kangaroo court, disagree with you in that they would not even seek indictment.

  27. “Is he never supposed to play again? Is he never supposed to be a part of society? Does he get no chance to rehabilitate himself? That’s what we’re gonna do,” Haslam said.

    Interesting statement for someone that was not convicted of a crime in order to be rehabilitated. To quote Shawshank Redemption, “Rehabilitated? Well now let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means” and in context, apparently neither does Haslam. But he would believe in a second chance since he keeps getting them and Watson is his latest perceived second chance…………..or third or fourth or fifth at a QB.

  28. If he’s completely innocent, what does he need to be rehabilitated from?

  29. I have no issue with the trade for Watson or why. It’s the rewarding of guaranteed money for his atrocious behavior. The no conditions attached take the money. Sends a terrible message.

  30. Jimmy Johnson once admitted he cut a RB for falling asleep in a meeting, but didn’t discipline Emmitt Smith for a similar infraction. He admitted there is a double standard between stars and marginal players.

  31. It is hard for me to single out Jimmy Haslam and the Browns for ridicule. Remember that Carolina, Atlanta & New Orleans were seriously in the hunt for Watson this spring and several other teams expressed interest. (This was reported right here on PFT on 03/19/22.) And Miami almost brought him in last year.

  32. This has said a LOT about Haslam and his regard for women and his desire to win at all costs.
    Now Browns fans have a chance to do the right thing and hit Haslam and Browns where it counts – financially.
    Boycott.

  33. Oh wow, the Browns are lucky to find any players willing to sign with them. They have really struggled to find enough players to fill their roster. Going to be a long season in Cleveland. I feel bad for their players.

  34. Playing in the NFL is a privilege this guy doesn’t deserve. But he upgrades Brown in Madden 23, so there’s that.

  35. Is he going to give the homeless guy that told him to draft Johnny Manziel a second chance?

  36. radygirl12 says:
    August 18, 2022 at 2:14 pm
    Haslam obviously has no morals. While I feel badly for the fans, I hope that the Browns are 0-11 when Watson returns.

    Nah, I hope the Browns are 11-0 when Watson returns and lose every game he starts from then on.

  37. they spent a lot to get Blake Bortles…oh wait, BB5 has more post-season wins.

  38. Let’s not pretend that the Browns were the only organization will to make that deal, they just offered that money first.

  39. Massive protests are coming the Browns way, so we’ll see how Jimmy feels once that starts

  40. “I worry he doesn’t change at all and he just hides his behavior better until we find out at some point he’s mistreated more women.”

    Well that’s the point. It doesn’t matter WHY he refrains from committing such acts going forward as long as he refrains from committing them. Some people do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Others do the right thing to avoid being punished. At the end of the day as long as the result is the same that’s the best we are going to get from the latter.

  41. So, the message is that if you are good at sports, you can be a serial sexual predator.

    Way to go Browns.

  42. As a Clevelander and long time Browns fan, I can no longer support them under the Haslam “leadership”. It makes me sick. Until Haslam sells the team, good-bye my beloved Browns.

  43. Somehow Haslsm has made Modell seem like the BEST owner the NFL has every had.

  44. A lot of people get 2nd chances. Not just stars. It super common. Ray Rice is the only person I can think of that didn’t. Not to play anyway.

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