Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson listens to questions during his introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on Friday. Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson listens to questions during his introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on Friday. Watsonpress 8

The Cleveland Browns certainly didn’t envision a 7-10 season, good for last place in the AFC North, when they traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson and handed him the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history.

But that’s exactly what happened, in large part because Watson served an 11-game suspension to start the season after more than 25 message therapists accused him of gross sexual misconduct during appointments he privately booked.

Watson has since settled out of court with all but one of the women and will start Week 1 for the Browns. However, speaking recently at Browns training camp, Watson blamed “the media directing and narrating” the story around his misconduct last season.

“The whole situation changed me,” he said. “In a situation where I just had to lock in on myself, channel and really know who I’m surrounding myself with and just really who’s going to be there and support me even when I’m at my lowest point and the last few years were definitely my lowest point in my life. But that’s part of life. I just grow from it, I learn from it. I continue to move forward and push forward and continue to show my real character, my real personality and who I am.”

“Things that people don’t really get to hear about,” he said. “Especially last year, it’s been the media directing and narrating something else. … [my story] has been kind of overshadowed.”

The Browns’ season will largely depend on if Watson can regain his old form. If he does, the Browns will almost certainly finish better than last season.

[ESPN]