On the field, Watson is extremely talented and has accomplished a lot in his brief career.
However, the off-the-field issues are what people have mixed emotions about.
The Halsams’ statement attempted to address those sensitive topics.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 20, 2022
The statement discussed the Browns organization’s vetting process of Watson.
It was critical that the Haslams, Andrew Berry, and Kevin Stefanski meet with Watson face-to-face to ensure that everyone was on the same page regarding the football piece of the trade as well as the community outreach and extensive efforts that will be necessary to rebuild Watson’s reputation.
The “comprehensive evaluation process” and the face-to-face meeting gave the organization the appropriate insight and confidence to proceed with this decision.
Reaction To The Statement
As expected, the statement got mixed reviews.
Some felt it wordy without really saying much, and Dollar Day Nick edited it accordingly.
Fixed it pic.twitter.com/N9TpRRUCOh
— DollarDog Nick (@DollarDogNick) March 20, 2022
Another edited version of the statement courtesy of David is even more concise.
— David (@SportsDPJ) March 20, 2022
Attorney For Women In Civil Proceedings Was Not Contacted By Browns
Many, including ESPN’s Mina Kimes, wonder what the Browns “comprehensive evaluation process” consisted of.
Would love, just once, for a team to actually explain what went into their “comprehensive evaluation process.” https://t.co/S8peP8Qmo0
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) March 20, 2022
John Barr of ESPN is reporting that it did not include contacting Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the 22 women.
“The Browns organization did not reach out to me. I didn’t expect them to do so, and can understand why they didn’t. But, knowing what I know, they probably should have,” Buzbee said.
— John Barr ESPN (@JohnBarrESPN) March 20, 2022
“The Browns organization did not reach out to me. I didn’t expect them to do so, and can understand why they didn’t. But, knowing what I know, they probably should have.”
The Haslams, by releasing the statement, are attempting to take the first step in handling a very sensitive situation that is going to take a lot of time and effort to heal.
It is clear they believe this trade was in the best interests of the organization which remains to be seen.