- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Deshaun Watson trade — a deal that shook up the NFL landscape last week in a shocking turn of events — became official on Sunday. 

But the challenges regarding Watson, who has been accused by nearly two dozen women of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, are far from over, and NFL fans were quick to remind the Browns organization of that fact on Sunday when the team posted statements from its owner, general manager and coach on Twitter. 

Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said in a statement that the team underwent a “comprehensive evaluation process” about Watson’s legal situation. General manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski both said the team’s background check of Watson was “extensive.”

But none of the statements included specifics about the team’s process before trading three first-round picks for the embattled quarterback and paying him the most guaranteed money in a contract in NFL history. In fact, according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, the team didn’t reach out to the lawyer for the women accusing Watson

“The Browns organization did not reach out to me,” attorney Tony Buzbee told ESPN. “I didn’t expect them to do so, and can understand why they didn’t. But, knowing what I know, they probably should have.”

Watson is facing civil suits from 22 women after a Texas grand jury earlier this month declined to indict 26-year-old on criminal charges. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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