Roger Goodell’s treatment of Deshaun Watson at the NFL’s Hall of Fame game went viral on Thursday night.
Watson, who missed a significant chunk of playing time for disciplinary reasons not long ago, was seemingly greeted with open arms by the league’s commissioner ahead of the Cleveland Browns’ showdown against the New York Jets.
To say it was very different than the way the Houston Texans owner’s wife greeted him last season would be an understatement.
Video of the encounter spread like wildfire.
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) August 3, 2023
Fan reaction to Goodell and Watson’s encounter was roughly what one would expect.
Folks quickly took to social media to respond.
Because he knows what’s about to happen ! Watson is back baby
— Thereckoning (@Dawgpound85) August 3, 2023
Looks like another happy ending
— jeff (@jeff1959purcell) August 4, 2023
Man roger was really touchy feely there. Knows how Deshaun likes it
— Brian NG (@brianng416) August 3, 2023
I hope Deshaun shakes his hand then gives him a sly look that says “do you have any idea what was on that hand?”
— Joe POTUS (Parody) (@Bidenomicals) August 3, 2023
Watson missed the first 11 games of last season after being accused of 20-plus cases of misconduct by various massage therapists.
What an offseason for Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. https://t.co/VeFGrXccMb
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 3, 2023
That being said, no criminal charges were ever filed. As a result, Watson returned to action for the Browns in the back half of last season and ultimately recorded seven touchdowns and five interceptions over the last six games of the year.
Will 2023-24 mark the season that Watson finally gets his career back on track after the craziness of the past couple of years? Time will tell, but it certainly seems like Goodell is rooting for him.