The Cleveland Browns generated headlines on Thursday when it was learned they would be signing quarterback and 2018 first-round draft pick Josh Rosen to a one-year deal as they wait to learn about the status of starting signal-caller Deshaun Watson, who could be suspended for part, half or all of the 2022 season over allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.
Watson is currently available to partake in all team activities until further notice, and ESPN’s Jake Trotter notes that the 26-year-old was among the Cleveland rookies and quarterbacks who reported to training camp on Friday.
The Browns’ full camp begins Wednesday.
Watson, his employer, the NFL and NFL Players Association continue to wait for a ruling from league disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who will determine if the former member of the Houston Texans violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The league has argued Watson should be suspended indefinitely and banned from playing for all of the upcoming campaign, but it was reported this past Monday that Watson’s camp and the union are willing to fight such a punishment in federal court, if necessary.
Watson has maintained his innocence throughout the matter and had two grand juries decline to indict him on criminal charges. His legal team reached settlements with 20 of 24 plaintiffs who sued him, but there are still four active civil lawsuits.
Backup Jacoby Brissett will become Cleveland’s QB1 ahead of journeyman Joshua Dobbs and Rosen if Watson is suspended. There have been conflicting reports about if the Browns could pursue a trade for San Francisco 49ers veteran Jimmy Garoppolo in the event Watson is sidelined for more than a handful of games this fall.