Deshaun Watson NFL Investigation Nearing Completion, Roger Goodell Says

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2022

BEREA, OHIO - MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns is introduced by general manager Andrew Berry (L) and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Getty Images

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters on Tuesday the league is "nearing the end of the investigation" into Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is being sued by 22 women accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct. 

Goodell did not provide a timeline for when the investigation might be concluded, however. 

The 26-year-old quarterback is still facing lawsuits from the 22 women, though two separate grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against him. 

Once Watson wasn't indicted, the trade market for the former Houston Texans quarterback—who tried to force a trade away from Houston last offseason before the accusations against him were made public, and who sat out the entire 2021 season while he was being investigated by authorities—heated up.

The Browns eventually landed him for first-round picks in 2022, 2023 and 2024, a third-rounder in 2023 and fourth-rounders in 2022 and 2024. The Browns then signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract extension. 

Ashley Solis, who accused Watson of placing his penis in her hand during a massage, told HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel in an episode set to air on Tuesday night that the quarterback's lucrative contract extension was hard for her to stomach. 

"It's just like a big screw you," she said (h/t Jake Trotter of ESPN). "That's what it feels like. That we don't care. He can run and throw, and that's what we care about."

Kyla Hayes—who accused Watson of repeatedly touching her with his penis during a massage, to the point that he eventually ejaculated—expressed a similar sentiment. 

"It was sick to me," she said (h/t Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). "I felt like he's being rewarded for bad behavior."

Watson is currently with the Browns at the team's voluntary organized team activities this week.