According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Tony Buzbee, all but four of the civil suits have been settled.
Buzbee issued a statement that read in part:
“Today I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled. We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won’t comment further on the settlements or those cases.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 21, 2022
The NFL world had plenty of reactions to this news.
Here are some of the most noteworthy.
1. What About The Remaining Four?
Though the caseload has reduced considerably, there are still four outstanding cases against Watson.
Some wondered what this really means given the fact there are still civil proceedings against him.
What happens if he doesn’t settle with the 4?
— Scoot (@BewareTheFro) June 21, 2022
Still 4 more than 99% of nfl players, he’s getting a season ban
— North (@the_legend4life) June 21, 2022
20-for-24 is a good passing day, not a good settlement day
— Greg Creese (@GregCreese) June 21, 2022
What about the 4 that haven’t?
— Mikey (@YCMMEI) June 21, 2022
2. An Admission Of Guilt
Twitter has two schools of thought on this news.
One is that Watson is guilty, and the payoffs are evidence of that.
He consistently said he wanted to clear his name; settlements do not necessarily do that.
Nothing says innocent quite like paying people off.
I thought Watson said he’d never pay anyone as it wasn’t true?!
— Golf Lover UK (@GolfloverUK) June 21, 2022
Soooo Deshaun Watson said in the beginning of all this.
1. Nothing Sexual Ever happened.
2. It was all consensual an i will not settle.
3. Settles 20 out of 24 lawsuits.
— R3lic 0 – 0🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@R3licX) June 21, 2022
3. This Should Never Have Gotten This Far
Then, there is the group of people who believe this was a big farce that was about money.
Been saying this whole thing is a money grab💰
— Matthew Smith (@smithmatthew81) June 21, 2022
These people have long believed that since no criminal charges were brought against Watson, this should not have been an issue.
No criminal charges…. move on.
— nomad (@10nomad22) June 21, 2022
4. How Many Cases Are There?
There is also confusion over the number of cases.
Buzbee refers to 24 but some thought the number was actually 26.
#breaking "…all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled." -Tony Buzbee, attorney for 24 women who have filed sexual misconduct lawsuits against the Browns QB
Not clear whether this includes reported lawsuits 25 & 26. Ashley Solis has not settled. pic.twitter.com/TrUtjNro70
— Stephanie Haney (@_StephanieHaney) June 21, 2022
Confusion remains over the 25th and 26th cases and where they are in the process.
The ball remains in the NFL’s court, so to speak, regarding a suspension.
These developments could minimize the duration of it, but no one really knows how all of this resolves itself in the end.
The settlements are positive developments for Watson, but they do not erase public opinion or the number and type of allegations against Watson and how they conflict with the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.