Deshaun Watson’s Accusers Speak Out on Quarterback’s Big NFL Contract: ‘It Was Sick to Me’

by Bryan Fyalkowski

While Cleveland Browns fans celebrated Deshaun Watson signing the largest contract in NFL history, the 22 women who are suing Watson of sexual misconduct felt “sick.”

Two of Watson’s accusers – Kyla Hayes and Ashley Solis – talked to Soledad O’Brien for a segment on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel that aired on Tuesday. The fully-guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract Watson signed after being traded from the Houston Texans to the Browns on March 18 was a main point of discussion.

“It was sick to me,” Hayes said. “I felt like he’s being rewarded for bad behavior.”

Solis added, “It’s just like a big screw you. That’s what it feels like.”

Hayes, Solis and 20 others claim Watson sexually assaulted them during massage sessions that took place in 2020 and 2021. In March 2022, two grand juries in Texas looked at criminal complaints but declined to indict him on criminal charges. The 22 women then went on to file civil charges.

NFL Investigation Into Watson Continues

According to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league’s investigation into Watson is “nearing its end.”

Investigators inside the NFL’s disciplinary office spoke to Watson for three days last week, as well as “more than half” of the 22 women who have the litigation pending. The findings will then be presented to an independent arbitrator – U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson – who will then render a decision on behalf of the league.

If Robinson finds that Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy, she would recommend a suspension. That suspension could then be appealed by either the NFL or NFL Player’s Association. Any appeal would then go to Goodell, who would have the final say on the matter.

After meeting with NFL personnel, Watson traveled to the Bahamas with some of his new teammates for a weekend of bonding and team-building. The quarterback is currently participating in Cleveland’s optional team workouts in Berea, Ohio.