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The Cleveland Browns stunned the NFL world earlier this month when they acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans for multiple draft picks after a grand jury declined to indict him on charges of sexual assault and still faces 22 civil lawsuits on the same charges.
Watson and the Browns then agreed to a five-year, $230 million deal, which gives him a base salary of just over $1 million in 2022 as well as an $8 signing bonus. $.9 million because he could still be disciplined by the NFL at some point. this season.
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After 2022, Watson is expected to earn $46 million per season through 2026.
At least one NFL executive appeared baffled by the contract Watson got. The unnamed executive told NFL writer Peter King in his “Football Morning in America” column on Monday that the contract “stinks to heaven. “.
Watson made his media debut on Friday and again denied all sexual assault allegations against him and said he looked forward to clearing his name “once everything is resolved”.
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“I understand that the whole situation is very difficult, especially for the female side – the fans of this community. I’m not naive,” he said of the criticism his craft has drawn. “I know these allegations are very, very serious but as I said before, I have never assaulted any woman. I have never disrespected any woman. I was raised by a single mother …it’s who raised me.
He continued, “I was raised to be authentic and to respect everyone and everything around me. So I’ve always stood for that and will continue to stick to it and I just want the opportunity to to be able to really show who I am in the community and be active and help people and serve others.”
Watson was asked about the number of allegations made against him and whether they were all false.
“I can’t talk about people’s opinions, because everyone has their own opinions,” he replied, “but what I can continue to do is tell the truth and that’s I have never assaulted, disrespected or harassed women in my life. Like I said before, I was raised differently. It’s not in my DNA, it’s not my culture. It’s not me as a person and it’s not how I was brought up.
Another Texas grand jury also declined to indict Watson on another complaint last week.
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The 22 civil lawsuits are still ongoing.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.