The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion The Browns pay the price for playing the fool

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson on June 14 in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
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Regarding the June 7 Sports article “A 24th woman files suit against Browns’ Watson”:

The Cleveland Browns’ desire, desperation and dysfunctionality induced them to sign quarterback Deshaun Watson for $230 million, the largest guaranteed contract in the history of the National Football League by $80 million. In addition, they gave the Houston Texans six draft choices. The Browns competed with several teams for a quarterback beset by 22 lawsuits filed by massage therapists. Watson rejected the Browns’ original offer, but he bided his time, confident the Browns would force the moneybag into his hands. The Browns’ self-congratulatory bleats that they were confident and their vetting was comprehensive have degenerated into fool’s gold. He now has 24 accusers, and the New York Times reported that he engaged with at least 66 massage therapists in a 17-month period. The Browns miscalculated, believing that their starving fans would clothespin their noses to escape the stench and instead fantasize about the Super Bowl possibilities with Watson helming the team. Every indication is that Watson engaged in persistent, pronounced and predatory sexual behavior. Even Watson’s scintillating skills can’t erase what he and the Browns face. The Browns played the fool — and were played for a fool.

Marc D. Greenwood, Opelika, Ala.