Oct 2, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder on the field before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders, D.C. settle ticket refund lawsuit

Washington D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwab reached a $625,000 settlement with the Washington Commanders to resolve a lawsuit related to the NFL team failing to return ticket deposits.

The AG’s office made the announcement on Monday with additional steps for the franchise to take to meet the approval of terms established by the settlement, but the Commanders and Pro-Football Inc. were granted “no admission of guilt of wrongdoing” in the matter.

At least $200,000 in ticket deposits are due to be refunded, Schwab said.

While the Commanders are required to give public updates on the team’s website regarding refunds to fans and the status of repayments, the settlement says “Defendant denies all of the District’s allegations and claims, including that it has violated any consumer protection laws, including the CPPA. No part of this settlement, including its statements and commitments, shall constitute evidence of any liability, fault, or wrongdoing by Defendant.”

Owner Dan Snyder is in the process of selling the franchise while wading through litigation related to alleged financial malfeasance and workplace conduct.

Formal bids to purchase the team are being submitted, with reports Snyder would only sell the team if the price reaches $6 billion.

–Field Level Media

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: NFL to approve Stan Kroenke debt to pay St. Louis settlement

Final approval from the NFL for Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s $571 million to settle a relocation lawsuit with St. Louis is expected from the league on Tuesday, per multiple reports.

Kroenke owes St. Louis the balance of what was a $790 million settlement for moving the team to Los Angeles. The NFL collectively contributed $219 million, leaving Kroenke to pay the rest only after owners waive the limit in place on allowable debt for owners.

The final approval is expected at the NFL owners’ quarterly meeting Tuesday in New York.

A settlement was first reached last year, more than four years after the lawsuit originated. The NFL pushed for the agreement in part due to a decision from the judge ruling financial information and records of all NFL owners could be included.

The Rams won the Super Bowl in February and have largely been a success in Los Angeles under head coach Sean McVay.

After 21 years in St. Louis, Kroenke moved the Rams to Los Angeles and the NFL supported the move, helping fund a stadium project that cost more than $1.6 billion in Inglewood, Calif. The Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, who fled San Diego in 2017, are co-tenants at SoFi Stadium, which also houses NFL and NFL media offices.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was welcomed with cheers during Saturday's training camp, the first day of practice that was open to fans.

Attorney: Deshaun Watson has settlements with 23 of 24 accusers

Plaintiffs attorney Tony Buzbee revealed Monday that Deshaun Watson settled with three more accusers and has undisclosed deals with 23 of 24 women who have accused him of inappropriate behavior during massage sessions.

Buzbee refused to reveal the plaintiff who has not settled with Watson after 20 other women previously reached confidential settlements with him in June.

All 24 women accused Watson of sexual misconduct during massage sessions that took place in 2020 and early 2021. The allegations invited an NFL investigation that is reportedly close to being finalized with the suggestion Monday from a league-appointed judge, disciplinary officer Sue Robinson, to suspend Watson for the first six games of the 2022 season.

“After lengthy and intense negotiations, I can confirm that, late last night, our team resolved three of the four remaining civil cases with Deshaun Watson,” Buzbee said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to discuss the remaining case with Watson’s legal team, as appropriate.”

Ashley Solis was the first plaintiff to come forward and said Watson caused his genitals to touch her without her consent.

The 26-year-old Watson sat out the entire 2021 season with the Houston Texans, who have settled out-of-court financial agreements with all accusers. Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns and in the midst of the controversy, signed a five-year, $230 million contract, all while he denied any wrongdoing.

His attorney, Rusty Hardin, maintained at the outset that accusers had come forward seeking “payday” out of their connection with Watson.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with head coach Kevin Stefansky after minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Browns Hof 4

Texans settle with 30 Deshaun Watson accusers

The attorney representing Deshaun Watson’s accusers says 30 women have reached confidential settlements with the Houston Texans.

“Today all of the women who have made, or intended to make, claims against the Houston Texans organization have resolved their claims,” attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement on Friday. “The terms of the settlements, to include the amounts paid each, are confidential.

“I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, other than to say that there is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so.”

Watson, now with the Cleveland Browns, was sued by 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions when he played for the Texans.

One of those women also sued the Texans, alleging the team had enabled Watson’s behavior. That lawsuit is now settled, according to Buzbee.

Watson, 26, announced his own settlements last month with 20 of the 24 women who filed civil lawsuits. Buzbee previously said the four pending cases remain active and on track for trial in 2023.

Watson repeatedly has denied any wrongdoing and has never been arrested or charged.

Watson is awaiting a decision from the NFL about a possible suspension for violating the league’s conduct policy.

Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a former U.S. District Court judge who was jointly selected to oversee the case by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, is expected to issue a ruling before the Browns report to training camp on July 26.

“We were shocked and deeply saddened when we first learned of the allegations against our then franchise quarterback in March 2021,” a statement from the Texans’ Janice McNair and Hannah and Cal McNair said Friday.

“Although our organization did not have any knowledge of Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct, we have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter amicably. This is not an admission of any wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct.

“We hope that today’s resolution will provide some form of closure to the parties involved, our fans and the Houston community at large.”

The Texans held Watson out of action for the entire 2021 season as he was under investigation for criminal wrongdoing. However, he was never indicted, and the Browns acquired him in a March trade, giving up three first-round draft picks.

Cleveland also signed the three-time Pro Bowl selection to a five-year contract that will pay him a guaranteed $230 million. However, Watson’s salary for 2022 reportedly is just $1 million to protect against the possibility that he could be facing a lengthy ban.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington running back Derrius Guice before the 2019 Peach Bowl college football playoff semifinal game between the LSU Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Charges dismissed against RB Derrius Guice after settlement

Misdemeanor domestic violence charges were dropped Wednesday against free-agent running back Derrius Guice after he and the alleged victim reached a settlement.

A judge in Loudoun County (Va.) Circuit Court signed off on the agreement. Under Virginia law, a judge can dismiss some misdemeanor charges if the victim says adequate compensation — either in the form of money or an apology — has been received.

Guice was arrested Aug. 7, 2020, and charged with one felony count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count of destruction of property. The Washington Football Team released him hours after his arrest.

Prosecutors dropped the felony charge earlier, and Guice, 24, walked away with no criminal charges in the case.

After the hearing, the woman involved with Guice and an attorney for the running back issued a joint statement but didn’t reveal settlement terms.

“They have both worked hard toward a resolution of their relationship and appreciate the input and consideration of the Commonwealth,” the statement read.

It is unclear whether Guice will attempt a return to the NFL.

Washington selected Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. A projected first-round pick after three productive seasons at LSU, Guice saw his draft stock fall after team executives questioned his maturity and attitude and also worried about reports of off-field incidents in college.

With Washington, Guice played in just five games. He missed his rookie season after sustaining a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in a preseason game, and his 2019 campaign was interrupted because of a torn meniscus.

In his NFL career, he carried the ball 42 times for 245 yards and two touchdowns. He added 79 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.

In April, following an investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct in the athletic department, LSU announced it was wiping out Guice’s records.

The school also banned Guice from future involvement with the Tigers in light of numerous allegations of sexual assault or misconduct during his time at LSU, 2015-17.

Guice played in 35 games for the Tigers, compiling 3,074 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns as well as three receiving TDs. He ran for 1,387 yards as a sophomore in 2016 and 1,251 yards the following season. On Nov. 24, 2016, he ran for a school-record 285 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries in a win at Texas A&M.

In March, former LSU tennis player Abby Owens told a Louisiana Senate select committee that Guice raped her in 2016. At least one other woman made the same allegation to LSU officials, USA Today reported in November.

–Field Level Media