You may be interested in hearing the latest Deshaun Watson news. Watson has settled with the NFL and will miss 11 games. He was originally suspended for six games. He will also have to pay a $5 million fine, the highest in NFL history. As part of his settlement, Watson is required to follow a professional treatment program for depression and alcoholism. The NFLPA has decided not to appeal the decision. Read on to find out how this will affect the Cleveland Browns.
Suspension extends by five games after appeal
The NFL has ruled that quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss at least five more games due to a groping incident, and the league has formally extended the suspension by another five games. Watson has since apologized to the women and is eligible to return to the field for the Browns’ preseason game against the Houston Texans.
The Browns have committed to backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett until Watson returns to the field, and this is a significant move for the team. In addition, Watson could help the Browns reach the playoffs and, if he’s healthy, the Super Bowl. His decision is a huge risk for owner Jimmy and Dee Haslam, but if he performs well, the team could make a playoff run and contend for the division title.
Fine amounts to $5 million
After being suspended for 11 games, Deshaun Watson will have to pay a five-million-dollar fine to the NFL. The fine is the equivalent of about half of Watson’s salary through 2021. If Watson had not been suspended, the Dolphins likely would have moved on to a new quarterback in their starting lineup. The fine is an unfortunate outcome, but it’s the cost of doing business in this day and age.
The fine is the result of a settlement between Watson and the NFL Players Association. It’s one of the most severe punishments in NFL history. The NFL has faced scrutiny over its treatment of women, and the fine is seen as too harsh in some quarters. Watson’s suspension and fine, which he has committed to pay in full, are not nearly enough to address the extent of the allegations made against him. Still, commissioner Roger Goodell said Watson would put in the work necessary to earn his place back in the NFL.
Impact on Cleveland Browns
The suspension of Deshaun Watson is likely to have a larger impact on the field than on the off-field. The former Oklahoma quarterback was the prize acquisition of the past two years, effectively jettisoning former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers. While the Browns are built to compete with star power, their offense has been plagued by quarterback issues, and Watson’s suspension means the offense will be handed over to a journeyman backup quarterback. While Brissett can be effective in this role, the team might be better off looking for external help to replace the veteran quarterback.
The trade that brought Watson to Cleveland was a win-now move. The franchise has been starved of success for decades, and the three first-round picks used to acquire Watson have finally opened a window of opportunity. With Watson’s five-year contract worth $230 million, the Browns have made a good deal of this trade. But the team still needs to figure out how to replace him.
NFLPA’s decision not to appeal
The NFL Players Association released a statement on Deshaun Watson’s case on Thursday. The statement suggests the union and Watson won’t appeal Judge Robinson’s decision to suspend Watson for one year. It’s unclear why the union would not appeal, but if the league does decide to reinstate Watson, it could make a huge difference. Regardless, Watson’s suspension will be upheld.
If the NFLPA were to win the appeal, the NFL would have to wipe out Watson’s suspension and reinstate him immediately. However, that is unlikely to happen, as the NFLPA would have to prove irreparable harm. Despite the NFLPA’s initial decision, Watson had to sit out the first six games due to the suspension. Robinson found that Watson had violated the Personal Conduct Policy three times. The NFLPA accepted that finding, saying Watson would comply with the order.
On Friday, the NFLPA announced it would not appeal the six-game suspension of Watson. The NFLPA’s decision was unexpected, since it came amid a tense situation involving a rookie quarterback. The NFL has been urging the NFLPA to take the same approach in its own case. The NFL is now allowing Watson to appeal, a rare move given Watson’s age and injury history.