When a grand jury in Texas declined to indict Deshaun Watson on March 11, the Browns and three other NFL teams launched an intense competition for the quarterback.
The Browns ultimately won the sweepstakes for Watson, agreeing to a trade March 18 with the Houston Texans for the three-time Pro Bowl passer.
But Watson’s legal troubles are far from over, according to multiple reports.
One of the 22 women who has filed a civil lawsuit against Watson alleging sexual misconduct during massage appointments also has a criminal complaint being considered this week by another grand jury, Fox 8 News first reported Thursday.
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What are the Browns saying about the second grand jury?
Browns spokesperson Peter John-Baptiste said the team was “aware of the potential” of a second grand jury gathering before the organization traded for Watson.
News of another grand jury convening Wednesday broke shortly after Watson reported to Browns headquarters Thursday to take a physical, the final step in completing the trade. Watson passed the physical, a person familiar with the situation told the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters.
What happened during Deshaun Watson’s first grand jury?
The first grand jury met in Harris County in Texas and rejected nine criminal cases against Watson, but a 10th criminal complaint alleged an incident outside the jurisdiction of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, according to the New York Times.
The second grand jury, which is in Brazoria County, south of Houston, heard evidence in a case in which a woman told the Houston Police Department that Watson ejaculated on her during a November 2020 massage appointment, according to the Times.
Her lawyer, Tony Buzbee, told the Times he expects the grand jury to deliberate and issue a decision on Thursday or Friday.
How Deshaun Watson chose the Browns
After informing the Browns on March 17 he would not waive his no-trade clause for them, Watson changed his mind the next day and chose Cleveland over the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. Watson received a five-year contract from the Browns worth $230 million fully guaranteed.
The Browns have yet to finalize plans for Watson’s introductory news conference, but it had been expected to take place Friday.
Watson, who has denied all wrongdoing, could be suspended by the NFL for at least part of next season even if he isnt criminally charged.