Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett watches from the sideline during the NFL football team's training camp in Berea on Tuesday.

Brissett Camp 2

Browns shift attention to readying Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett is sliding up from the second chair in the quarterback room again as the Cleveland Browns shift from bracing for Deshaun Watson’s ban to preparing to play into October without him.

Brissett, 29, said his preparation won’t change a great deal other than the expectation that more of the first-team reps are coming his way with Watson expected to be suspended six games for violating the NFL’s off-field conduct policy.

“Since I’ve been in this league it’s been the next man up,” Brissett said of getting ready for Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers. “That was the case my rookie year, so that experience helps with not only the playing but with the mindset of understanding that you’ve got to be ready whenever your number is called.”

Brissett brings a wealth of starting experience from his stints with the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins. Behind him is former first-round pick Josh Rosen, and the Browns still could add an arm during Watson’s suspension.

But head coach Kevin Stefanski said he plans to allow his preparation to remain day-to-day.

“I’ve just tried to be where my feet are,” Stefanski said of the mindset not to get ahead of himself with hypothetical challenges.

But having Brissett makes that possible. He started five games last year as Tua Tagovailoa’s backup in Miami and made 30 total starts with the Colts from 2017-20.

“He has a very good way about him,” Stefanski said. “Very, very intelligent. Very good leader. Has the ability to make plays on the practice field, help in the meeting room. Be accountable throughout the weight room. He just does all the right things.”

–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 was welcomed with cheers during Saturday's training camp, the first day of practice that was open to fans.

Reports: Decision in Watson disciplinary case expected Monday

A decision on Deshaun Watson’s NFL disciplinary case is expected Monday, multiple reports said Sunday.

The Cleveland Browns quarterback has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate misconduct during massage sessions between March 2020 and March 2021.

While 20 of the 24 sustained lawsuits he has faced have been settled and two grand juries in Texas decided not to pursue criminal charges against Watson, the NFL has been conducting an investigation of their own to determine whether he violated its personal conduct policy.

Retired judge Sue Robinson has been appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association and tasked with deciding on the case. Unless she recommends there be no disciplinary action, Watson and the NFLPA can appeal the decision to commissioner Roger Goodell.

According to CBS Sports, the NFL is reportedly pushing for an indefinite suspension that would last through the 2022 season.

In a joint statement, Watson and the NFLPA emphasized their full cooperation and support of Robinson and her investigation, stating “(we) will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”

The Browns, who traded three first-round picks for Watson in March, have been adding to their roster in anticipation of the ruling, recently signing former first-round pick Josh Rosen and working out A.J. McCarron earlier in the month.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Josh Rosen (16) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Vacancy? Browns brace for Deshaun Watson ban, to host QBs

Josh Rosen and AJ McCarron are candidates to be the next man up for the Cleveland Browns if quarterback Deshaun Watson is suspended, as expected, for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Per multiple reports, the Browns are bringing in the backups to have a ready plan if the NFL suspends Watson for multiple games. Watson met with league investigators for three days in Delaware earlier this month to discuss allegations of sexual misconduct.

Pro Football Talk reported a multi-game suspension was likely but not more than eight games.

Watson, acquired by the Browns from the Houston Texans for multiple draft picks, could reportedly agree not to appeal if the NFL opts against a season-long suspension.

Cleveland has prepared to be without Watson by signing former NFL starter Jacoby Brissett. He would be No. 1 if Watson is erased from the depth chart for any period of time, general manager Andrew Berry said earlier this month. Josh Dobbs is the No. 3 quarterback on the roster entering camp.

But behind Brissett and Dobbs, the Browns are kicking the tires on Rosen, who was with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021. The 2018 first-round pick of the Cardinals was traded to the Miami Dolphins following Arizona’s selection of Kyler Murray.

The 31-year-old McCarron was Watson’s backup with the Houston Texans in 2019 and 2020.

McCarron, a fifth-round pick in 2014, has played in 16 career games with the Cincinnati Bengals, Raiders (then in Oakland) and Texans. He tore his ACL in the 2021 preseason with the Falcons.

–Field Level Media

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

Browns Hof 4

Report: Watson, NFLPA plan to sue if suspended for 2022

Deshaun Watson and the NFL Players Association have already decided to file a federal lawsuit against the NFL if arbitrator Sue L. Robinson decides Watson should be suspended from the league for a full year, Yahoo Sports reported Monday.

It was reported in June that during Watson’s disciplinary hearing, the NFL was pushing for an indefinite suspension lasting at least one year.

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 Houston Texans.

Watson’s camp reached confidential settlements last month with 20 of the 24 women who brought civil lawsuits against him. On Friday, attorney Tony Buzbee, who represented Watson’s accusers, announced that the Texans had reached confidential settlements with the Texans.

Watson has continued to deny wrongdoing, and in March two grand juries in Texas declined to indict him on criminal charges. But he still could be punished by the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

Robinson, a former U.S. District Court judge who was jointly selected to oversee the case by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, was expected to issue a ruling before the Browns report to training camp on July 26. But Yahoo reported Monday that Robinson’s decision might “overlap” with the start of the Browns’ camp.

–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

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, along with General Manager Andrew Berry, left, and head coach Kevin Stefanski, right, field questions from reporters during Watson's introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea.

Watsonpress File 3

Reports: Hearing for Browns QB Deshaun Watson concludes

The disciplinary hearing for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson concluded Thursday, multiple media outlets reported.

Sue L. Robinson, the hearing officer, asked for post-hearing briefs by the week of July 11, ESPN reported.

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 “take her time” in ruling, ESPN reported. All parties reportedly expect a ruling before the Browns report to training camp on July 26.

Watson, 26, has been accused of sexual misconduct during massage sessions that occurred during his time with his former team, the Houston Texans. Twenty-six women have accused him of actions ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior.

Watson, who has denied wrongdoing, has settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits related to the massage sessions. The Texans’ organization is also being sued for “enabling” his actions, in part by allegedly providing him with non-disclosure agreements to give to massage therapists.

Per numerous reports, the NFL is pushing to have him suspended indefinitely, with the minimum length of the punishment one year before he would be eligible to apply for reinstatement.

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 Watson to a five-year contract that will pay him a guaranteed $230 million. However, his salary for 2022 reportedly is just $1 million to protect against the possibility that he could be facing a lengthy suspension.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, along with General Manager Andrew Berry, left, and head coach Kevin Stefanski, right, field questions from reporters during Watson's introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea.

Watsonpress File 3

Reports: Deshaun Watson’s hearing will continue Wednesday

The disciplinary hearing for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson began Tuesday and is expected to resume Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported.

It is unclear how long the proceeding will last or when a ruling will be rendered by 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.

Watson, 26, has been accused of sexual misconduct during massage sessions that occurred during his time with his former team, the Houston Texans. Twenty-five women have accused him of actions ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior.

Watson, who has denied wrongdoing, has settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits related to the massage sessions. The Texans organization is also being sued for “enabling” his actions, in part by allegedly providing him with non-disclosure agreements to give to massage therapists.

Per numerous media reports, the NFL is pushing to have him suspended indefinitely, with the minimum length of the punishment one year before he would be eligible to apply for reinstatement.

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 Watson to a five-year contract that will pay him a guaranteed $230 million. However, his salary for 2022 reportedly is just $1 million to protect against the possibility that he could be facing a lengthy suspension.

–Field Level Media

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks to the media after minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Browns QB Deshaun Watson scheduled for disciplinary hearing on Tuesday

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is scheduled to have a hearing with disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Tuesday, ESPN reported Saturday.

The hearing will center on the 26 women who accused Watson of unwanted advances and inappropriate sexual conduct during massage appointments during his time with the Houston Texas.

Robinson was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

The NFL is expected to push for a lengthy suspension of Watson, whose representatives have settled 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits filed against Watson.

The NFLPA will defend Watson during the hearing.

Robinson spent more than 25 years (1991-2017) as a member of Delaware’s district court.

After Robinson makes a ruling, Watson will have the option to appeal any punishment.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could rule on Watson’s appeal or allow an independent arbitrator to make a decision.

Watson has denied the accusations on multiple occasions.

The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans in a trade in March and gave him $230 million in guaranteed money on a five-year deal. Watson didn’t play in 2021 after requesting to be traded from the Texans.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson listens to questions during his introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on Friday.

Watsonpress 8

Browns QB Deshaun Watson, NFL talks begin

Before he travels to the Bahamas to work out with new teammates, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with NFL investigators on Tuesday to discuss his legal matters with lead investigator Lisa Friel, ESPN reported.

Friel conducts investigations for the NFL on matters related to the personal conduct policy and, when violations are found, helps mete out punishment. Watson can be fined or suspended if the NFL rules that he violated the league policy on personal conduct.

Two grand juries in Texas did not indict Watson, who still faces 22 civil lawsuits around allegations of sexual misconduct with women who claim they met the quarterback while providing professional massage services.

The Athletic reported the NFL has interviewed multiple women involved in the civil case.

Players who were not convicted of crimes have still faced fines and suspensions under the same policy, including retired Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. In 2010, Roethlisberger was not indicted on sexual assault charges in Georgia, but the NFL investigated and determined he would be suspended six games without pay. A 20-year-old college student accused Roethlisberger of wrongdoing following an incident in a bar bathroom.

Upon appeal, Roethlisberger’s suspension was reduced to four games, but commissioner Roger Goodell made clear his actions warranted punishment.

“My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor,” Goodell wrote in a letter to Roethlisberger. “That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”

Watson said at his introductory press conference with the Browns, who signed him to a $230 million contract, that the claims were unfounded.

But in a pre-trial deposition last week, Watson admitted at least one massage therapist left their session in tears and he sent her an apology, according to attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women.

Buzbee previously shared the message in question.

“Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable,” he wrote, according to the screenshot from plaintiff lawyers. “Never were the intentions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies.”

–Field Level Media