As part of a settlement with the NFL, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will serve an 11-game suspension without pay, pay a $5 million fine, and go through a professional evaluation and treatment. This is all because two dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Deshaun Watson broke the league’s rules about how players should act, so the league wanted to ban him for at least a year. During his time with the Houston Texans, he was accused of sexually harassing and pressuring women who got massages from him.
After being sent to the Browns in a trade in March, Deshaun Watson signed a contract worth $230 million that was fully guaranteed. Watson will lose $632,500 in pay during his suspension because the team set up his contract so that he will make $1.035 million in his first season.
As part of the agreement, Watson can play for the Browns in their Dec. 4 game in Houston.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is move on, and that’s the plan,” Watson said soon after the settlement was made public. “I need to be able to move forward with my job, my family, my personal life, and everything else.”
The settlement puts an end to months of rumors and stops a ruling from former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, who was picked by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league appealed Sue L. Robinson’s six-game suspension.
As part of the agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association, Deshaun Watson will have to be evaluated by behavioral experts and follow their treatment plan.
Deshaun Watson said sorry for the first time since the allegations came out last week, right before the Browns’ first preseason game. He tried to be more sorry on Thursday, but he still said he had never done anything wrong with a woman.
“I’ve always said that I’m innocent and that I’ve never hurt or insulted anyone, and I’m not going to change my mind now.” “he said. “But at the same time, I have to keep moving my life and career forward.
The Browns bet $230 million on Deshaun Watson because they hoped everyone would just move on. But the NY Times did something that the team arrogantly refused/pretended to do: They actually investigated what happened. pic.twitter.com/7p5f9ofv71
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) June 8, 2022
“I’m going to keep insisting that I’m innocent and keep moving forward. I’ve always said that I won’t treat anyone badly or sexually assault them.
In addition to the $5 million fine, the NFL and the Browns are each giving $1 million to a fund that will help nonprofit groups all over the country teach young people about “healthy relationships,” promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct, and assault, help survivors, and do other similar things.”
Watson can practice until his suspension starts on August 30, but his coach, Kevin Stefanski, said he won’t play in any preseason games. He can’t go back to the team’s building until October 10, which is about halfway through the suspension. Deshaun Watson can start practicing again on November 18 and can go back to work two weeks after that.
Even though Dee and Jimmy Haslam have been criticized for trading for Deshaun Watson, they stood by their quarterback. They said that they want him to grow and learn from the situation.
Jimmy Haslam said at a news conference with his wife and Browns general manager Andrew Berry, “Since Deshaun moved into our building in April, he has done everything we have asked of him and more.” “He has been the kind of person and leader we expect him to be, and I think he realizes that this is a turning point in his life. As an organization, we will do everything we can to help him not only be the best football player he can be, but also the best person he can be.
Haslam was asked if he is still happy with Watson playing for Cleveland. Dee Haslam was asked if she thinks Watson is guilty or not.
“We value what he says. “I do think that Deshaun will learn a lot more about himself through counseling,” she said.
Robinson, a former federal judge who was hired by the league and union to be an independent disciplinary officer, suspended Deshaun Watson for six games on August 1. In her decision, she said that his actions were “egregious” and “predatory.”
Deshaun Watson wouldn’t say anything directly about what Robinson said.
“I know myself, “he said. “I’m aware of the kind of person I am. I know what kind of person I am and have always been because of how I was raised. The most important thing for me is to keep showing people who Deshaun Watson really is. People who meet me and spend time with me will figure out who I really am.
The league thought Watson’s punishment was too light, so it filed an appeal and sent Watson’s case back to Goodell. In the past, Goodell was in charge of all player punishments. The league had asked for a permanent ban and a big fine before.
This month, at the owners’ meetings, Goodell said that the league’s decision to try to get a one-year ban was justified by the results of its investigation and Robinson’s report.
Goodell said, “She added to the evidence.” “There were a lot of serious violations, and the behavior was predatory.”
Robinson used Watson’s lack of regret as a reason for her decision in her conclusion.
Deshaun Watson was asked what he was sorry for if he was not guilty. He said, “For everyone who was hurt by this situation.” “There were many people who were upset by it.”
From March 2020 to March 2021, Watson was said to have been sexually inappropriate with the women. In the civil lawsuits that the women in Texas filed against him, they said that he had exposed himself, touched them with his penis, or kissed them against their will. One woman claimed that Watson made her do oral sex.
In Texas, two different grand juries decided not to bring charges against Deshaun Watson. He also settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits.
For now, Deshaun Watson’s suspension puts an end to the months of rumors about whether or not he will play for the Browns in 2022. The Browns beat out several other teams and gave the Texans three first-round draught picks to get Watson.
Stay tuned with us for more updates, Lee Daily.