Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was officially activated to the team’s 53-man roster on Monday and will make his season debut this Sunday when facing his former team in the Houston Texans.
Watson had served an 11-game suspension for personal conduct policy violations stemming from the stream of sexual assault allegations made by massage therapists in the Houston area. His suspension was originally six games before the NFL and NFLPA agreed to 11 games and a $5 million fine for the QB.
We have added Deshaun Watson to the 53-man roster and made other moves— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 28, 2022
Watson has not suited up in an NFL game since the end of the 2020 season, where he made his frustrations with the Texans organization known afterwards and requested a trade. While the franchise and the quarterback were at a standstill over his future in the offseason, numerous sexual assault allegations by professional massage therapists began to surface in the public eye. 30 women eventually reached settlements with the quarterback in July of this year.
Still not willing to negotiate a trade, the Texans opted to not play Watson at all throughout the 2021 season. This past offseason, however, Houston traded Watson and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Browns in exchange for 2022, 2023 and 2024’s first round picks; a third-round pick in 2022; and a fourth-round pick in 2024. Watson then signed a 5 year, $230 million contract with the Browns, including a $44.9 million signing bonus, an amazing $230 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $46 million.
With him serving the suspension, the Browns have posted a 4-7 record with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett serving as a placeholder until Watson’s debut this week.