Everything about the Deshaun Watson press conference had an icky feel to it. Questions were dodged throughout and it didn't make any fans disgruntled with the situation feel any better. The cringe continues though, as it turns out, Cleveland Browns' owner Jimmy Haslam did not have the final choice in the matter.
According to Aaron Wilson, Haslam was “advised to give his wife, Dee Haslam, and their daughters the ability to veto the Deshaun Watson trade.” The long-time Browns' owner followed that advice during his pursuit for the controversial quarterback. Perhaps this was supposed to be a kind gesture to the women of this franchise, however, it's still cringy and doesn't quite sit right.
Jimmy Haslam said that he was advised to give his wife, Dee Haslam, and their daughters the ability to veto the Deshaun Watson trade. He relied on that advice before going forward with the trade and signing Watson to a $230 million fully guaranteed deal
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 25, 2022
The Browns claim they did their due diligence in researching Watson and his multiple sexual assault allegations, per Albert Breer. Additionally, Cleveland believes Watson “did nothing wrong,” as the franchise is “comfortable with the legal process.” Everything about the press conference was very vague. Even so, Watson will be playing for this organization for quite some time after signing a monster contract extension.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says the Deshaun Watson pursuit was "conceived in football operations" but vetted at every level. Asked if by "comfortable" with their findings, the Browns think Watson did nothing wrong, Haslam answered he was comfortable "with the legal process".
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 25, 2022
Cleveland wanted to make sure the women in the Haslam family were involved in the process to trade for Deshaun Watson. Plenty of opinions can be made with how the Browns, and the league, have conducted themselves throughout Watson's legal issues. One of which, is that it feels like the franchise used Haslam's wife and daughters into helping make a decision as a public relations move.
We'll see how it all plays out. Deshaun Watson could still serve a suspension due to the 22 active civil suits against the star quarterback. Regardless, the Browns found a new quarterback and the franchise is eager to get things rolling, despite how cringe this entire situation has played out.