The AFC North divisional rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns was already fierce, but recent comments from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh about Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson, of course, was suspended for six games on Monday after multiple women filed a total of 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits against the star quarterback, leaving many stunned at such a short suspension given the allegations.
While Harbaugh was cryptic and careful with his words when asked about his thoughts on the Watson situation, he was still able to make his opinion very clear.
More Harbaugh regarding Watson suspension: "I respect what Steve Bisciotti and Dick Cass created here almost 10 years ago. Basically, what we decided [was] that we're kind of zero tolerance. We've stayed away from that particular situation. I'm glad we have that policy."
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) August 1, 2022
“I do have a lot of opinions on it. I’m not at liberty to share them at this time. That’s for the league to decide,” Harbaugh told Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “I respect what Steve Bisciotti and Dick Cass created here almost 10 years ago. Basically, what we decided [was] that we’re kind of zero tolerance. We’ve stayed away from that particular situation. I’m glad we have that policy.”
Though he doesn’t explicitly state it, Harbaugh appears to be subtly criticizing the Browns’ decision to trade for Watson despite the sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations.
Harbaugh’s comments will certainly add a little extra drama to a rivalry that was already heated. To make things even more interesting, the Ravens will host the Browns in Week 7, which will be Watson’s first game back from his suspension and likely his first start for Cleveland.
If that game didn’t already have plenty of interest, it sure does now.