Mina Kimes took the Browns to task over Deshaun Watson investigation

ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes slammed the Browns for failing to properly investigate the Deshaun Watson situation the way Jenny Vrentas did in her reporting.

“The Browns bet $230 million on Deshaun Watson because they hoped everyone would move on.”

This is how ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes laid the groundwork for her take on the Deshaun Watson investigation after a groundbreaking New York Times report by Jenny Vrentas revealed there were many stones left unturned in the investigation. Watson “engaged in more questionable behavior than previously known” according to Vrentas, such as the fact that he sought massages from at least 66 different women in a span of 17 months.

“The NY Times did something that the team arrogantly refused/pretended to do: they actually investigated what happened,” Kimes continued.

Kimes highlighted an important point about these new details: there were the verified accounts of women who decided not to sue, undermining the idea that all of the women who accused Deshaun Watson of sexual harassment and assault shared ulterior motives. Vrentas’ interviewees, like many of the women previously involved in the case, said they were motivated to share by seeing Watson blatantly lie about his actions and face zero accountability for them.

As much as this is a story about Deshaun Watson, it is now one about the Cleveland Browns and the NFL as the football community looks to see how the league will investigate and discipline Watson. Kimes believes the Browns will now “face the consequences of their arrogant behavior.”

“That is what the Browns bet on when they gave Deshaun Watson $230 million, that — not just their fans, the media, the NFL, people in and around this league — that we would all move on and forget. But they failed to account for something — or someone, in this case — that Jenny Vrentas would do what they refused to do, what they lied about doing, which is actually investigate Watson’s claims. And as a result, I think the NFL has to go harder on their suspension, and I think the Browns will face the consequences of their arrogant behavior.”

Mina Kimes grills Browns on Deshaun Watson in light of new details

Kimes brings up a salient point: if the Cleveland Browns investigated Watson as thoroughly as they claimed to have done when they brought him into the building, then what was made of the information that Vrentas has now made public?

Are the Browns and the NFL dismissing the accounts of the two new civil lawsuits levied against Watson, as well as the accounts of those women who decided not to sue? And what of the Houston Texans’ involvement in Watson’s massages, including offering him a hotel room where he allegedly harassed many women and offering him an NDA to give new therapists?

The Browns’ multimillion investment in Watson, especially their decision to guarantee his entire contract, implies that the team believes Watson did nothing wrong. Clearly, there are many individuals and fact-checked NYT reporting that challenges that narrative. With that in mind, what Kimes said seems to be the only explanation: the team, and the NFL, simply wished that this conversation would fade away.