One voice among the sports media called out an NFL team early this week after the news they traded for a player who is being sued by 22 women for sexually misconduct. That person was Molly Qerim of ESPN’s First Take, who did not hold back when discussing the Cleveland Browns and their acquisition of quarterback Deshaun Watson for the hefty contract he signed with the team. The words of Qerim were not those of a reporter, but of a woman who could have been a victim of Watson or known someone who is. They were also those of a fan who is now asking how much the Cleveland Browns and the NFL respects their female fans.
The NFL was shocked with the news that the Houston Texans finally gave into their quarterback’s demands after trading Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns. The blockbuster trade became even more newsworthy when the long-suffering franchise inked the troubled signal caller to a five-year, $230 Million contract, which, by all accounts, is fully guaranteed.
The move comes after Watson sat out the entire 2021 season under the shadow of sexual assault charges that a Houston grand jury recently refused to indict Watson on only days after the trade was made. It is believed, however, that Watson could and will still be suspended under the NFL’s Players’ Conduct Policy, and could be forced to miss the entire 2022 season while he looks to settle civil lawsuits filed by 22 women for his misconduct.
Molly Qerim, despite working for a sports first network like ESPN, looked at the trade and signing of Watson by the Browns from a passionate point of view and called out the team for doing something most people overlooked at her network and other places when reporting the trade. Watson, it appears, it only scheduled to make $1 Million in pay during the 2022 season, a drop in the bucket of the $230 Million he signed for. In other words, the Browns not only traded for Watson by giving up a boatload of draft picks, but also protected their new quarterback’s money by how they wrote his contract and minimized the losses he would suffer from a potential suspension.
This was something Molly Qerim was not impressed with when she said on First Take:
“There’s 22 civil suits I don’t know whether he’s won or lost, that’s why I think it’s premature by the Cleveland Browns to give this man the most guaranteed money ever. If he’s losing these cases, he should not be playing this entire season, maybe two seasons,” Qerim continued. “And that’s why he only loses a million dollars because they know a punishment might come down. A million dollars when you’re about to get $229 million. That’s a SLAP IN THE FACE to all women everywhere…they protected him, so he gets all his money.”
Bravo to Molly for pointing out the obvious here, which is that the Cleveland Browns sold their souls to get Deshaun Watson the quarterback, and couldn’t care less about what he did off the field. Since Watson had a no-trade clause in his contract with Houston, he was calling all the shots about where the team could trade him, allowing him to deal directly with teams like New Orleans, Carolina and others. Letting his demands be known, and seeing who would cave to them, with Cleveland doing everything possible to ensure they were the team chosen by the quarterback. As a result, the Browns needed to help Watson lose as little money as possible to a suspension in 2022.
While the Browns may have the best quarterback in the AFC North whenever Deshaun Watson takes the field, they also have one who will be easy to root against for the next five years as they pursue a Super Bowl title with one of the biggest NFL’s villains behind center.
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Did The Browns Go Too Far To Sign Deshaun Watson? | TooAthletic.com