“I’m going to respect the investigation, the trial, and let that happen,” Stefansky said.
Watson attended a non-season training session on Wednesday, performing passes for teammates in orange shirts and shorts, but was not available to the media. That day he closed his Twitter account personally and limited his posts with 1.4 million subscribers.
What actions can the Browns take next?
It seems Brown options are limited if they want to get out of the deal with Watson.
A person who knew about the deal directly said the contract had a protective wording, as it did in other players’ contracts, allowing the franchisee to cancel out aspects of it that were harmful to the team that the team was unaware of when signing the deal. The person, who requested anonymity because they had no authority to speak publicly on the matter, said the Browns were less likely to take action if Watson was not charged with a crime.
Watson, 26, has demanded a deal from the Texans after the 2020 season, a few months after signing a four-year contract extension in Houston, for a guaranteed $ 111 million. Soon the first allegations of sexual assault surfaced. He was on the Texas roster in 2021 but has not played.
Barry said in March that the Browns had decided to prosecute Watson after a third-party attorney completed an independent investigation that included questioning reports and law enforcement officials. When a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, refused to indict Watson on nine criminal charges, the Browns, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints entered the tender. Cleveland soon announced the Watson trade.
But it was only after Watson was signed that the second grand jury in Brasoria County, Texas, refused to indict him. Brown did not explain why he was signed when there was still a possibility that he would be charged with a crime.
The impact of the new trial on Watson’s position on the team is also unknown. Hardin said his legal team had not heard of the 24th plaintiff until Monday, and it is unclear whether Watson revealed to Browns the potential for new legal action before signing.