Yes, not being criminally liable for the 22 sexual misconduct cases filed against him paved the way for his return.
However, the court’s decision will be different from the NFL.
After all, he still has 22 civil cases to clear while he trains with the Browns.
But an upcoming meeting between Watson and league officials indicates that the NFL might have made a decision regarding the quarterback’s situation.
In such investigations, the NFL usually talks to the player last, so this is likely an indication the league is wrapping things up. Next question would be whether or not they make a ruling before there's resolution on the 22 civil cases. https://t.co/0Ff0G06Azt
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 16, 2022
NFL insider Albert Breer tweeted, “In such investigations, the NFL usually talks to the player last, so this is likely an indication the league is wrapping things up. Next question would be whether or not they make a ruling before there’s resolution on the 22 civil cases.”
He tweeted this information in response to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson’s update that Watson is scheduled to meet with league officials in Texas this week.
The most important update from this meeting is whether Watson will get suspended or not.
If he doesn’t, the NFL will receive much pushback not just from fans but from anti-sexual harassment groups.
But if he gets suspended, the league must specify a fair amount of games to also avoid criticism.
Who Will Take Over For Watson?
Baker Mayfield could be the Browns’ starter while Watson is out.
That scenario could happen if he is still with the Browns when the 2022 season starts.
However, they are still actively trading him despite little interest on him.
But if he does well while Watson serves his suspension, teams might start inquiring about Mayfield again.
On the other hand, Jacoby Brissett could also fill in Watson’s role if Mayfield is already with another team.
With him, the Browns hope to have a decent record until Watson returns.NEXT: NFL Insider Shares Latest Deshaun Watson Update