What Deshaun Watson settlement means for availability in 2022

Deshaun Watson settled 20 of his 24 pending civil lawsuits but what does this mean for his availability in the 2022 season?

Deshaun Watson has not done himself any favors since being accused of sexual misconduct by 26 women.

He’s held press conferences where he said very little — which often made things worse when it comes to the court of public opinion. His continued assistance that he did nothing wrong didn’t quiet the calls for justice, especially as more cases came in.

On Tuesday, it looks as though he finally did something to help himself out as it was announced that he settled 20 of the 24 pending cases (there are two cases that have yet to be filed).

Tony Buzbee, the attorney for all the women in these cases, said that the original case — filed by Ashley Solis — is one of the remaining four pending.

What does this mean for Deshaun Watson and his availability in 2022?

With the Cleveland Browns still waiting to see what Deshaun Watson’s availability is in 2022, it has to be asked what this new development means. According to Adam Schefter, it has “no impact on the disciplinary process.”

That might not be accurate, though. Better phrasing might be that a settlement won’t keep Watson from being suspended. The truth is, it’s actually a good thing for Watson’s chances to play in 2022 now that he has started to settle the cases.

Having pending litigations hanging over his head would likely cause the league office to lean toward a longer suspension or even an open-ended one that hinges on the cases being finalized.

With 20 of them now closed, Watson has a better chance of being on the field in 2022. Those chances get even greater if he resolves the rest.

While the league will still come down on him, it’s easier for them to make a decision knowing there won’t be any more surprises coming from the cases being heard in court.

This is far from the end for Watson and his team but they made this move knowing it was the best chance at allowing him to continue his career this year.