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Deshaun Watson - Cleveland Browns

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Deshaun Watson will be suspended for 11 games without pay and be fined $5 million after the NFL and NFL Player’s Association reached a settlement on Thursday (August 18) regarding Watson’s discipline. Over two dozen women accused the Cleveland Browns quarterback of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.

Initially, an arbitrator ruled for a six-game suspension for Watson on August 1st, but he would not be fined for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

“I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization,” Watson said in a statement released by the Browns. “I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team. I’m excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland.”

The NFL initially wanted a full-year suspension for Watson, citing the evidence in the case.

“Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”

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Watson’s suspension will take effect on August 30 when teams are mandated to cut their rosters down to 53 active players before the beginning of the regular season. He’ll be eligible for reinstatement on November 28 and available to play Week 13 vs. his old team, the Houston Texans. The Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March, and the Browns gave Watson a $230 million guaranteed contract, the richest in NFL history.

Deshaun Watson Suspended 11 Games, Fined $5M By NFL  was originally published on