News broke this week that DeShaun Watson has officially settled 20 of the 24 civil suits filed against him. Seems we finally broke through to the moment where the people involved all attempt to push it away because dragging it on won’t end well even if exonerated. He did his perversion, got called out, had the case build, and things did not go away after he was not indicted.

I would wager the NFL and Watson were sort of hinging on that happening and everything after that has caused a lot of internal league turmoil. It is notoriously hard to prosecute sexual assault cases so once he doesn’t get indicted, he’s free! Right? Nope. The high profile of the case just caused more people to look into it and the subsequent investigation made it look even worse for everyone involved. Now it is in Watson’s best interest to throw his obscene new contract at the problem to make it go away. The NFL wants that too. This is a massive black eye, and they have the ultimate punishment decision coming soon.

Some of us think this was Watson’s way to try and lower his own suspension. If he can make the problem go away with cash and NDAs, the casual public will move on and his suspension can be minimized. Some of us will be outraged anyway, but the NFL knows that and does not care. They just want the majority to move on. Watch it be something like 10 games reduced to 8 on appeal. It should still be a season (well, it should still be for life, but let’s be realistic here), but I would not be surprised if we see Watson on the field come, say, November.

Right now the wrinkle is that he didn’t settle all of them. Yet. 4 women have yet to take his money. We’ll have to see what happens there. I imagine it just means those 4 will command a larger settlement and it’s only a matter of time. This isn’t fun for the victims and they probably want this drama to stop sooner than later too, but we might have a few determined cases.

What’s really exciting to me is that as I made this comic, some news about the Dan Snyder Commanders probe came out, and it’s a doozy. Our favorite irredeemable piece of shit spent 1.6 million to settle and coverup a 2009 incident with an airline employee who was reportedly sexually harassed by Snyder. Snyder’s mostly been indirectly involved with most of the Commanders story so far, as the kind of passive evil god that allowed and encouraged the toxic workplace but was rarely directly implicated with actions. This is an action. Snyder’s side claims it was extortion. It was handled in a way that hid it from the league regardless. As always, my expectations this actually forces a change are very low, but every brick we can throw at that scumbag is worth stockpiling.

The NFL is headed for some choppy waters on the PR department with this Commanders probe and the Watson case/punishment. I do not envy their PR department right now.