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Editors’ 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

Jadeveon Clowney revealed Thursday that a certain quarterback factored into his decision to re-sign with the Browns—Deshaun Watson.

“I talked to him a few times before he signed, after he signed,” the defensive end said, per Yahoo Sports. “We stayed in touch through that whole thing about coming here. If he come, then I come. I told him if he goes, I’ll follow him up here. I’ll go back. That’s what it came down to.”

Clowney added that he may have become a Falcon if the quarterback headed down to Atlanta. The pair were first round picks for the Texans, the defensive end going No. 1 in the 2014 draft while Watson followed suit as No. 12 in the ’17 draft. 

Two dozen civil lawsuits have been filed against Watson, each detailing graphic accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurred during massage therapy sessions. The accounts range from Watson allegedly refusing to cover his genitals to the quarterback “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.” The latest detailed that Watson masturbated and ejaculated on the plaintiff without her consent. And it’s expected that more could be on the horizon.

Watson has denied all allegations against him, and two Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges. Although there are ongoing civil cases filed against him, Cleveland traded for Watson shortly after the first grand jury concluded and signed him to a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $230 million. A clause was built into the contract where Watson will lose only $55,556 for every game he’s suspended this season.

A decision on the league’s investigation into Watson has not been announced yet, but according to ProFootballTalk, the players association is preparing for an “unprecedented” punishment recommendation for the Browns quarterback. If an unpaid suspension is enacted under the personal conduct policy, ProFootballTalk reports that the NFLPA will “mobilize with an aggressive defense on Watson’s behalf.” 

This reportedly includes comparisons to how the league has handled the cases of three prominent team owners—the Commanders’ Daniel Snyder, Patriots’ Robert Kraft and Cowboys’ Jerry Jones

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