Browns star Garrett Deshaun keeps an open mind about Watson

BERIA, Ohio ( Associated Press) — Aware of public perception, Miles Garrett has made up his mind about Deshan Watson.

While Watson continues to be attacked by others for alleged sexual misconduct, Garrett has been impressed by how the embattled quarterback himself has since joined the Browns, despite facing serious legal consequences and potential NFL penalties. has operated.

“From what I’ve seen, he’s gone down the right track,” said Cleveland’s All-Pro defensive end and undisputed team leader. “Whether that slipup happened or not, I’m not the judge. I’m not the jury or the executioner.”

Garrett’s remarks after practice on Wednesday came a day after the 23rd massage therapist filed a civil suit Watson of sexual misconduct during appointments while playing for Houston.

The newest lawsuit is the first filed since Brown traded for Watson in March, when he signed her to a record-setting $230 million fully guaranteed contract.

Watson, 26, has said that any sexual activity with the women was consensual — two separate grand juries in Texas declined to indict her on 10 criminal complaints. – And he wants to clear his name.

In his first media availability since Watson was signed, Garrett said that he doesn’t feel the need to investigate QB’s affairs just to learn more about him.

“It’s none of my business,” he said. “I try to keep my nose out of it. I try not to lay my eyes on him. The only thing that matters to me is whether he’s playing every game and as a defense if he isn’t.” What do we need to do to step up.”

Given the enormity of the allegations, Garrett was put under pressure whether Watson’s reputation mattered.

“It does,” said Garrett. “But I don’t know what happened. You don’t know what happened. No one really knows what happened other than the people involved in this room. I can’t go one way or the other based on rumors.”

“So, I just have to move on with the character of the guy I know day to day, and from what I’ve seen, what I’ve played and what I’ve seen, it’s a good guy in the building.”

As for Garrett, Watson’s recent weekend trip to the Bahamas with teammates and the respect he has shown to the coaches are further indications of the QB’s makeup.

“I’m here to play a game, and whether we agree or disagree with who he is off the field remains to be seen,” Garrett said. “But as far as the guy I know on the field, he’s special.”

Watson did not speak to the media for the second week in a row. After practice ended, he signed autographs and took pictures with some schoolchildren before grabbing a smoothie from a table and taking a dip in the team’s premises.

On Tuesday, his lead attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement that Watson stands by his previous denial of any wrongdoing.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski again declined to say much about the unresolved situation hanging over his team.

The Cleveland front office has insisted that it was comfortable for the Browns to trade six draft picks, including three in the first round, before investigating Watson’s behavior.

Stefansky was asked if the latest lawsuit had changed anything about the QB’s position.

“It goes back to the work we did before this,” Stefansky said. “We’ve got it covered. But I’ll continue to let the proceedings go on.”

Watson still faces potential discipline from the league, which is investigating whether he violated its personal conduct policy. If this is found, then there is every possibility of Watson being suspended.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that he thought the investigation was close to a conclusion, but that it was before the latest trial, or Tony Buzby, the lead attorney for all 23 women, said he planned to file the 24th petition. .

Watson did not play last season after requesting a trade. He looked sharp on the field during the two seasons open to the media, but Brown’s offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said the three-time pro bowler was still in form.

“The whole year, of course, is going to rust, and you can see it,” Van Pelt said, “but he’s working through it.”

Comments: In order not to move on from Watson, Garrett said he is treating his defensive teammates for a trip to Miami this week. “Taking my talent to South Beach,” he said, imitating a line LeBron James made famous upon leaving Cleveland. … Garrett has been vocal about gun laws in the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. He wants to see things change in his home state and has resolved to “become an advocate for the cause across the country”.

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More Associated Press NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl & https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 & https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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