Bad news, Browns fans. The Cleveland Browns' QB Deshaun Watson won't be back in the game any time soon.
As part of a settlement over sexual misconduct, Watson's current suspension is being extended and he will now pay a hefty fine.
Deshaun Watson Suspended 11 Games, Fined $5M
Multiple sources have now confirmed that the NFL and NFL Player's Association has reached an agreement with Watson.
The suspension and fine are in regards to personal conduct, including sexual misconduct, that violates the league's player personal conduct policy.
- a statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Godell
Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL. This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension. We are grateful to Judge Robinson and Peter Harvey for their efforts in addressing these matters, which laid the foundation for reaching this conclusion.
NJ.com reports, "Via Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson:
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson suspension increased to 11 games, $5 million fine, mandatory counseling in settlement negotiated by NFL and NFL Players Association in personal conduct policy disciplinary matter, per league sources @PFN365.
Per NFL Insider Josina Anderson:
I’m told #Browns QB Deshaun Watson will be suspended 11 games and fined $5M, per league source.
Source adds 'they are still working through it, it’s not officially signed,' but this is the working agreement. @PasterisSports had this first from what I can see while in an uber."
A statement on the agreement reads in part, "Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns is suspended without pay for the first 11 games of the 22 regular season and fined $5 million for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy, it was announced today. In addition, Watson will promptly undergo a professional evaluation by behavioral experts and will follow their treatment program."
Reactions by Browns fans were immediately a mix of relieved that it's over - and frustrated that the suspension has been extended. Watson himself has not yet released a statement.
Why Was Deshaun Watson Suspended?
The trouble with Watson that led to the suspension stretches back years.
USA Today reports, "Robinson determined that Watson engaged in sexual assault by the league's definition with four women, whose cases were presented by the NFL at a three-day hearing with Robinson in June.
Watson, 26, was sued by 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct in massage sessions in 2020 and early 2021, when he was employed by the Houston Texans. All but one of those 24 lawsuits, including Solis', have been settled out of court with confidential agreements. The Texans also reached confidential settlements with 30 women with claims related to Watson after being accused of enabling his behavior and not stopping it."
Although he has not been arrested or officially charged with a crime, the magnitude of the accusations were enough to violate the NFL's conduct policy.
Watson originally sat out six games before the NFL filed an appeal. Now that an agreement has been reached, Watson will be back in Game 13 just in time to take the gridiron against the Houston Texans.
The agreement has been drafted and agreed upon but not signed yet.