In a stunning turn of events the Cleveland Browns managed to get Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to waive his no trade clause. He also signed a contract extension to the tune of $230 million over the next five seasons with all of it guaranteed.
Not bad for someone who elected to sit the entire 2021 season rather than play for the Texans. On paper Watson is also arguably the best quarterback the Browns franchise has had on its roster. Still the move comes with a huge risk for the Browns. The franchise has risked alienating its fan base with the acquisition.
In the era of the me too movement. That is understandable. Watson currently has 22 civil suits filed against him for sexual misconduct. There was also a criminal investigation that found there was insufficient evidence to proceed, and therefore it recently got dismissed.
The NFL still has the ability to investigate Watson and issue a lengthy suspension depending on how the civil suits play out.
Interestingly enough though one of the accusers of Watson is reportedly being investigated by the FBI for extortion. According to attorney Rusty Hardin he said “in April, the FBI came to us and told us they were investigating a matter as to whether one of Mr. [Tony] Buzbee’s clients had committed extortion in the way they were demanding money from Deshaun or what they would do if they didn’t pay it.”
Another interesting part to this is that Buzbee the attorney for the accusers elected to not provide information to the Houston Police department. He went on to say “But, I am saying that me and my clients will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities. Stand by.”
The reason Buzbee and his team withheld information is rather puzzling.
Another issue that cannot get ignored is the fact that when Buzbee ran for mayor of Houston he created fake political advertisements. It was also said that he “faked an alleged text between Mayor Turner and Marvin Agumagu and doctored photos of the two.”
There is also the question of timing. It was at the time that the quarterback for Houston requested a trade from the organization and was willing to not play another down for the franchise.
Buzbee himself allegedly had ties to the organization as well and he once put up a billboard urging the Texans to draft Johnny Manziel. Also, problematic is a racist tweet he put out during his run for mayor.
Only time will tell with what happens with the FBI investigation and the lawsuits against Watson. Still it is not as cut and dry as it seems especially with Buzbee as their attorney, which is why the Browns were so willing to alienate some of its fan base to acquire one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.