The Houston Texans are finally moving on from Deshaun Watson. According to multiple reports, the Texans are trading Watson to the Cleveland Browns. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said once the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback is traded, he will sign a five-year, $230 million fully-guaranteed contract. Watson going to the Browns is surprising considering it was reported he wanted to play for either the New Orleans Saints or Atlanta Falcons.
Watson requested to be traded last year when the 2020 season came to an end. But shortly after the request, Watson was hit with 22 civil lawsuits from women accusing the star quarterback of harassment and sexual assault in massage sessions. Earlier this month, Watson was cleared of any criminal charges, but the civil cases are still pending.
"It's definitely a very emotional moment for me," Watson told reporters at the time, per ESPN. "I know we're far from being done of handling what we need to handle on the legal side, but today is definitely a big day," Watson, speaking to reporters for the first time in over a year, said at a news conference outside his lawyer's office building. "I thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for letting the truth be heard. And I thank everyone that was a part of this for seeing and hearing both sides. That's what my point and my team wanted to do, is have a fair slate of us telling our side of the story and letting the conclusion come to what happened today, and that's what the grand jury decided on.
"I'm just going to keep fighting to rebuild my name and rebuild my appearance in the community. And on the legal side handle what we need to handle. But also ready to get on the field, and prep for that." Shortly after Watson was cleared from criminal charges, multiple teams began calling the Texans about the Clemson alum. The four teams that met with Watson were the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons. Watson is from Georgia and was a ball boy for the Falcons while attending Gainsville High School in Gainsville, Georgia.
Watson was selected No. 12 overall by the Texans in 2017. He played in just seven games during his rookie season as he tore his ACL during practice. He came back strong in 2018, throwing for 4,165 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His best season was in 2020 when he threw for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven picks with a 112.4 passer rating. Watson has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times in his five seasons in the league. He didn't play in any games last year.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.