Until recently, Watson was facing 24 civil lawsuits, with two more on the way after two more women said that they are in the process of filing against him last week.
The sheer number of accusers is clearly mounting against Watson, and while he ultimately wanted to “clear his name”, it appears that he has come to a decision with the majority of his accusers on Tuesday.
Watson has reached a confidential settlement with all but four of the 24 women that have officially filed lawsuits against him. That’s according to Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing those 24 women.
BREAKING: Deshaun Watson has reached confidential settlements with all but four of the 24 women that filed civil lawsuits against him, according to attorney Tony Buzbee. pic.twitter.com/INjD0bnO6t
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 21, 2022
If Watson’s decision on Tuesday was to attempt to get in the good graces of the NFL with their impending suspension coming towards him, it appears that it may not have worked. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said on Tuesday that Watson’s settlement with these women will “have no impact” on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) on the announcement of Deshaun Watson's civil settlements: "Today’s development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process."
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) June 21, 2022
Many around the NFL world still seem to believe Watson will face some disciplinary actions from the NFL moving forward.
I still would be surprised if the #NFL doesn't suspend Deshaun Watson for an entire season…
— Jake Asman (@JakeAsman) June 21, 2022
Regardless of the settlements, the NFL still looks bad if it doesn't ban Deshaun Watson for the entire 2022 season. Otherwise, it's "another rich athlete paying his way out of trouble" in the court of public opinion & another weak decision by the NFL pertaining to abusing women.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) June 21, 2022
Others aren’t quite as hopeful and believe that Watson’s potential attempt to save face may work when it comes to the NFL’s decision on him.
You trust the NFL to fairly adjudicate Deshaun Watson's case? It can't even get one of the most prominent owners to appear before Congress to answer for the documented and appalling workplace issues in his franchise.
— Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) June 21, 2022
Lol yea right https://t.co/Bg3ybIFPoa
— new dawn image (@imageofanewdawn) June 21, 2022
This is the public stance the NFL has to take and it's almost certainly not true. https://t.co/bZHumvs4Z9
— Adam Copeland (@exiledclevelndr) June 21, 2022
This development likely means that the NFL will make its decision on Watson sooner rather than later. However, the four accusers that still have a case against Watson are likely to go to court, according to Buzbee.
Lawyer Tony Buzbee says he is planning to try the other 4 civil lawsuits against Deshaun Watson that have not settled at this point including Ashley Solis, the first woman to come forward to him publicly with an accusation against Watson.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) June 21, 2022
That may slow up the NFL’s decision. But it is now very clear that Watson will not be going to court in all these cases.
[Front Office Sports; photo from Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports]