Aug 18, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns last week after a grand jury in Harris County in Texas declined to indict the quarterback on criminal charges after a police investigation sparked by 22 lawsuits filed against him. It was thought that the potential of criminal charges was the only thing keeping an NFL team from pursuing Watson, who had demanded a trade from the Houston Texans prior to the legal issues.

The Browns decided to move on from Baker Mayfield and trade for Watson despite the fact that he still faces civil trials due to the various allegations of sexual assault and harassment. While the Browns said they conducted a thorough investigation into the quarterback, they didn’t share any of those details, and the lawyer representing the 22 women who filed the suit said the franchise did not speak with them.

Recently, it became known that a second grand jury was being convened in Texas’s Brazoria County to consider charges against Watson. But on Thursday, word broke that this grand jury also declined to indict the former Texans star after considering an accusation of sexual misconduct.

“After a careful and thorough review of the facts and evidence documented in the reports prepared by the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, the Grand Jury for Brazoria County has declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes. Accordingly, this matter is closed,” Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck said in a statement.

The Browns declined to comment on the second grand jury. Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement after the decision was handed down.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the NFL won’t suspend Watson. Now that he intends to play in the upcoming season, the league could suspend Watson for at least six games through its code of conduct policy for violations related to sexual assault. The league previously said that any trade would have “no effect on the NFL’s ongoing and comprehensive investigation of the serious allegations against Watson. If the league’s investigation determines Watson violated the personal conduct policy, discipline may be imposed pursuant to the policy.”

The Browns have reportedly reworked his contract so that he only makes $1 million in base salary this season, which would mean that if he were suspended, he would lose a tiny fraction of his overall contract. It’s a craven move that did not sit well with many people.

In the meantime, the decision by a second grand just not to pursue criminal charges against Deshaun Watson certainly led to some strong reactions on social media. Many of them couldn’t help but notice the name of the district attorney who released a statement afterward.

Watson is expected to be introduced by the Browns in a press conference in the next few days and it will be very interesting to see how that goes.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to