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Browns sign QB Jacoby Brissett amid Deshaun Watson uncertainty

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 3/25/2022 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett. © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports Quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

While it appears that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will not be criminally charged regarding numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, the newly-acquired star signal-caller is still facing 22 civil lawsuits and could miss some or all of the 2022 NFL season via a suspension, a stint on the commissioner's exempt list, or a combination of both. 

With the Browns reportedly looking to trade 2018 first overall draft pick Baker Mayfield "as soon as possible," it was thought last Friday that veteran Case Keenum could serve as Cleveland's temporary QB1 if Watson is made ineligible in September. That changed, however, when the Browns traded Keenum to the Buffalo Bills and were then linked with journeyman Jacoby Brissett. 

Hours after the Browns introduced Watson as their new starter, they confirmed the signing of Brissett. 

Most recently, Brissett, 29, made five starts and 11 appearances with the Miami Dolphins last season as Tua Tagovailoa battled injury woes. In total, Brissett completed 141-of-225 passes (62.7%) for 1,283 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions during his only campaign with Miami. 

Both NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported earlier in the day that Watson's status could remain up in the air until some point this summer. 

Video: Ian Rapoport provides latest news on Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield (NFL)

"The league could eventually place Watson on the commissioner exempt list (i.e. paid leave) until the 22 civil cases are resolved, with an unpaid suspension coming thereafter," Florio wrote. 

During Friday's media event, Watson said he doesn't intend to settle the lawsuits at this time. 

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