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Ravens Owner Questions Whether Deshaun Watson Should’ve Gotten Fully Guaranteed Deal

Editor’s note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at

When Deshaun Watson was traded to the Browns, he signed a five-year, $230 million deal that is fully guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

On Tuesday, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he didn’t believe the three-time Pro Bowler should have gotten the massive deal.

“I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract,” Bisciotti said. “To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others.”

However, under Watson’s new deal, he will lose only $55,556 for every game he’s suspended. Comparatively, the quarterback’s contract with the Texans had him losing $1.94 million each game he missed due to suspension per Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer. Watson’s base salary is just $1 million in 2022, per’s Ian Rapoport.

Watson’s deal comes along the same time that Baltimore is working to secure a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson. The 2019 MVP will make $23.2 million under his fifth-year option in the 2022 season. If the Ravens fail to secure a long-term deal with Jackson, the franchise can tag the two-time Pro Bowler in ’23. Meaning, Jackson would make close to $43.5 million. If the Ravens tagged him again, it would boost his salary to nearly $52.2 million.

On Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was very optimistic that the organization would secure a deal to keep its signal caller. 

“… I’m confident it’s going to happen … I know he’s going to be our quarterback,” Harbaugh told reporters.

Watson was introduced as a member of the Browns during a news conference on Friday after a Harris County, Texas grand jury returned nine “no” bills on nine criminal complaints against Watson. Then, a second grand jury in Brazoria County declined to charge Watson on a 10th count.

During the news conference, Browns general manager Andrew Berry noted that the organization’s acquisition of Watson was “difficult for people and women in the Cleveland community.”

“...That in addition to the nature of all the allegations weighed heavily on all of us,” Berry said.

However, Watson is still facing 22 active civil lawsuits that detail graphic accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurred during massage therapy sessions.

These accounts range from Watson refusing to cover his genitals to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.” According to Jenny Vrentas of The New York Times, the criminal complaints he previously faced involved similar descriptions, including Watson’s ejaculating on them and either other forms of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. 

Berry also stated several times in the news conference that Watson and his cases was a “five-month odyssey.” The Browns used private investigators and third-party legal advisers to learn more about the cases, but did not speak to the accusers.

During last week’s news conference, Watson denied assaulting, harassing or disrespecting any woman.

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