Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson have first press conferences following trade
Note: Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Follow here for more updates.
The Cleveland Browns introduced their new quarterback Deshaun Watson in a press conference on Friday.
Alongside general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski, Watson explained why he chose the Browns. Berry and Stefanski also explained why they pursued Watson as he faces 22 allegations of sexual assault.
“We feel very confident in Deshaun the person, we have a lot of faith in him and we believe as he gets into our community he's going to make a positive impact," Berry said on Friday.
Watson vowed to defend his name and said he has no plans to settle the active civil suits he faces. Saying he doesn't "have a problem," Watson said he doesn't feel like counseling is necessary.
"I know there's going to be a stain that's probably going to stick with me for a while," Watson said. "I've never done the things these people are alleging."
The news conference came one day after the quarterback had a second grand jury in Texas choose not to indict him. On March 11, a grand jury chose not to indict him, which increased trade talks between the Houston Texans and a handful of other teams.
After deciding not to pick the Browns, Watson, who had a no-trade clause in his contract, changed his mind on March 18 and agreed to be traded to Cleveland.
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A week after agreeing to acquire the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback from the Houston Texans, Watson will officially be introduced as a Browns player with head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry by his side.
Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam will also speak, but will not be at the press conference as they're out of the country, according the Browns. The Haslams are scheduled to speak at 3 p.m.
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 a record-setting $230 million fully guaranteed.
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Watson, who has denied all wrongdoing, will likely be suspended by the NFL for at least part of next season.
"We continue to closely monitor all of the developments in the matter, which remains under review of the personal conduct policy," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to the Beacon Journal.