Baltimore Sun

Watson’s future still up in the air

Browns QB arrives to camp with plenty of uncertaint­ies

- By Tom Withers

CLEVELAND — Deshaun Watson reported to his first training camp with the Browns on Friday still not knowing how long he’ll be their starting quarterbac­k.

Like one of his passes, Watson’s future remains up in the air.

As Watson awaits word on whether he’ll be suspended by the NFL for off-field behavior, the three-time Pro Bowler arrived at the Browns’ training facility in Berea along with the team’s other quarterbac­ks and rookies.

Watson was scheduled to undergo a physical followed by meetings.

The 26-year-old is facing a likely league suspension for violating its personal conduct policy following allegation­s by two dozen massage therapists in Texas that he was sexually inappropri­ate with them during sessions while he played for the Texans.

Watson’s fate is being decided by league disciplina­ry officer Sue L. Robinson, a retired federal judge in Delaware who has spent the past few weeks reviewing his case following a hearing and briefs submitted by the quarterbac­k’s legal team, the NFL Players Associatio­n and league.

The NFL pushed for an indefinite suspension for Watson, who was never criminally charged and has maintained his innocence. Grand juries in two Texas counties declined to indict him.

There’s no definitive timeline for Robinson’s ruling.

The Browns have been hopeful they’d know before veterans report next week. Cleveland’s first full-squad practice is Wednesday.

Depending on how Robinson rules, Watson, who waived his no-trade clause and signed a five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns in March despite his legal entangleme­nts, could miss multiple games in 2022.

The Browns have made plans in case they’re without Watson for an extended period. Veteran Jacoby Brissett will slide into his starting spot, and the team also signed Josh Rosen on Friday to a one-year contract.

The 25-year-old Rosen is an extra layer of security and has more experience than Josh Dobbs, who is also on the roster. Rosen was selected with the No. 10 pick in 2018 by the Cardinals and went 3-10 in 13 starts as a rookie.

Once the Cardinals decided to take Kyler Murray first overall in 2019, Rosen was traded to the Dolphins. He spent last season with the Falcons, appearing in just four games.

Even if Watson is suspended, he’ll be allowed to practice with the Browns. The only thing that could change that is if Robinson stipulates as part of the punishment that he needs to be away from the team.

 ?? DAVID RICHARD/AP ?? Browns quarterbac­k Deshaun Watson watches the action during a practice session June 8 in Berea, Ohio. Watson reported to his first training camp with the Browns on Friday still not knowing how long he’ll be their starting quarterbac­k.
DAVID RICHARD/AP Browns quarterbac­k Deshaun Watson watches the action during a practice session June 8 in Berea, Ohio. Watson reported to his first training camp with the Browns on Friday still not knowing how long he’ll be their starting quarterbac­k.

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