Deshaun Watson settles case with NFL: QB suspended 11 games and hit with hefty fine after working out deal


The Cleveland Browns finally know how many games Deshaun Watson will miss this season after the quarterback reached a settlement with the NFL on Thursday.

CBS Sports NFL Insiders Josina Anderson and Jonathan Jones have reported that Watson will be banned for 11 games, which is a big increase on the six-game suspension that it was originally handed over. In addition to the suspension, Watson was also fined $5 million, the highest fine ever given to a player in NFL history.

Under the settlement, Watson must also adhere to a professional treatment plan, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced.

“Deshaun has committed to putting in the hard work on himself necessary for his return to the NFL,” Goodell said. “This settlement requires adherence to a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a substantial fine and a more substantial suspension.”

According to to ESPN.comWatson’s recovery is “dependent on his adherence to the treatment plan” and if he does not adhere to the treatment plan, the NFL could delay his recovery, which could lead to a longer suspension.

At Watson’s end, he was just happy to put the whole thing behind him.

“I am grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and am deeply grateful for the tremendous support I have received during my short time with the Browns organization,” Watson said in a statement. “I again apologize for the pain this situation has caused. I take responsibility for the decisions I have made.”

Although Watson mentioned responsibility in his statement, he did not seem to consider it when asked about the settlement during a press conference after the new sentence was announced.

“I insist on my innocence,” Watson told the media on Thursday. “Just because settlements and things like that happen doesn’t mean someone is guilty of anything.”

Watson’s decision to accept the NFL’s settlement offer means the case is officially over from a football perspective. Watson will serve out Cleveland’s first 11 games of the season before being eligible to return to the team on November 28. In a twist, Watson’s first game will come back against his former team, the Houston Texans. The Browns are scheduled to play in Houston on December 4 on CBS.

The added five games of the suspension mean Watson will miss several key matchups that he would not have missed under his original six-game suspension. Here are the five new games he will miss now that five extra weeks have been added to his sentence: at Ravens (Week 7), Bengals (Week 8) at Dolphins (Week 10), at Bills (Week 11) and Buccaneers (Week 12). The Browns also have a Week 9 bye there.

Although Watson shot down a settlement bid last month, he wasn’t quite able to turn down an offer this time. The NFL’s decision to appeal the original penalty put the ball in full court because the appeal was overseen by former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, who was appointed by Roger Goodell.

When it comes to settling in, the advantage for Watson is that he now knows how much time he will be missing. On the other hand, the benefit to the NFL is that the league doesn’t have to worry about the quarterback taking the case to federal court, which would have happened if Watson had been given an indefinite suspension of at least a year.

The settlement ends a long way for this case, which started all the way back in March 2021 when Watson was hit with a single civil lawsuit by a massage therapist who accused him of sexual misconduct. The total number of lawsuits eventually rose to 24, although Watson handled 23 of those cases the past two months.

The Browns traded for Watson in March 2022, despite knowing that two dozen lawsuits had been filed against him and that a sentence would almost certainly be forthcoming.

Watson was originally given a six-game suspension from former federal judge Sue Robinson, the disciplinary officer jointly appointed by both the NFL and NFLPA to hear the case. After a three-day hearing in June, Robinson waited more than a month before releasing her decision on August 1. was enough precedent to suspend him for more than six games.

Although the NFL did not receive the desired sentence from Robinson – the league hoped for a suspension of at least a year – the judge did provide the NFL with enough legal ammunition to appeal. In her decision, Robinson essentially agreed with everything the NFL argued at the June hearing. In the ruling, Robinson wrote that Watson’s conduct violated three provisions of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy “by engaging in: (1) sexual assault; (2) conduct that poses a real threat to safety and the welfare of another person; and (3) conduct that undermines or jeopardizes the integrity of the NFL.”

While the extended suspension means Watson will now be out until Week 13, he will be allowed to play in preseason games if the Browns want to play him, but it sounds like that won’t happen.

Watson does not have to serve his suspension on August 30. According to, he will be eligible to return to the team facility on October 10 to participate in limited activities. Watson will then be allowed to practice again on November 14, a full two weeks before his suspension ends.

As for their quarterback situation once the regular season hits, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has said the team plans to start Jacoby Brissett in Week 1, but it will now be interesting to see if that’s still his plan. . The Browns don’t have a lot of options right now, but they could try making a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. something the team has apparently thought about the past weeks.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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