*Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reportedly been suspended for six games for the upcoming season due to violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
@ESPN reports that Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson announced the ruling Monday, which is a result of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
Sources revealed that Watson will not be fined, and although it was determined that he violated the league’s personal conduct policy, there was not enough evidence to give him an indefinite suspension. The NFL Players Association released a statement sharing that they “stand by,” Robinson’s ruling.
As previously reported, Watson had been hit with 24 civil lawsuits alleging that he exhibited inappropriate and non-consensual sexual behavior during sessions with massage therapists. All of these accusations took place in March 2020 and March 2021 while he was still a part of the Houston Texans.
View this post on Instagram
Wait. There’s more …
If his suspension is upheld, Watson will still be able to participate in practices and games during the preseason,reports ESPN.
He will also be allowed to return to the Browns to practice during the second half of the suspension, in Week 4, according to the CBA. But he will not be allowed to be with the team during the first half of the suspension.
Since no additional fine was levied, Watson is slated to miss six of his $57,500 game checks in 2022 for a total of $345,000 lost off his $1.035 million base salary.
Watson’s Browns contract guarantees him a league-high $230 million, with a base salary that will jump to $46 million in 2023 and a $44.965 million signing bonus.
Although two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL has been investigating whether he violated its personal conduct policy since 2021.
The league interviewed Watson over multiple days earlier this summer. The NFL’s investigators also spoke to several of the women.
Watson has continually denied all wrongdoing and said he has no regrets for any of his actions during the massage sessions. Watson also said he cooperated with the NFL’s investigation and “answered every question truthfully” that he was asked by the league’s investigators.
The Browns traded for Watson in March, sending three first-round draft picks to the Texans. Cleveland then gave Watson a new five-year contract, the richest deal in NFL history for any player.