Deshaun Watson ‘would accept an eight-game suspension and a $5m fine to avoid missing the entire season’ as Browns QB waits to hear his fate after NFL appealed suspension in a bid to extend it to at least a YEAR
- Deshaun Watson has been suspended for an initial six games of the NFL season
- Browns QB has been accused of lewd sexual behavior with dozens of women
- The NFL want to increase his ban to at least a year, and he is awaiting his fate
- Reports claim Watson would be willing to accept eight-game ban and $5m fine
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and $5million fine to avoid missing the entire season, it was reported on Thursday.
Watson, who is facing a potential yearlong ban for sexual misconduct, would agree to a lesser penalty in a settlement, according to The Associated Press, who spoke to a person familiar with his defense, on the condition of anonymity.
The biggest question is whether the NFL would make this compromise.
A settlement has always been possible, but it’s not clear if the sides are in active discussions.
The league is seeking a minimum suspension of 17 games, a significant fine over $5 million and wants Watson to be required to undergo evaluation and treatment as determined by medical experts before he could be reinstated.
Deshaun Watson is willing to accept an eight-game suspension and a $5m fine, say reports
The 26-year-old quarterback was handed a six-game game last week by Sue L. Robinson
An independent arbitrator suspended Watson, accused of lewd sexual behavior during massage appointments with two dozen women while he played for the Texans, six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy on Aug. 1.
The league felt the punishment wasn’t enough and appealed retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson’s ruling two days later.
Asked Tuesday at the owner’s meetings why the appeal was filed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: ‘Because we’ve seen the evidence.’
‘She (Robinson) was very clear about the evidence. She reinforced the evidence, that there was multiple violations here and they were egregious, and that it was predatory behavior,’ Goodell added.
‘Those were always things we felt was really important for us to address and in a way that’s responsible.’
Watson’s case now rests with Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general appointed last week by Goodell to handle the league’s appeal. Harvey’s decision could come at any time.
The 26-year-old is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of female massage therapists in the Houston area dating back to his time with the Houston Texans
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he wants Watson to be banned for at least a year
Harvey’s decision ‘will be binding,’ per the collective bargaining agreement. However, the NFL Players Association could try to challenge his ruling in federal court. A settlement would avoid that.
Meanwhile, Watson is scheduled to make his debut for the Browns on Friday night in their exhibition opener at Jacksonville. The three-time Pro Bowler has continued to practice during his high-profile case, which has brought renewed criticism of the league’s handling of player discipline.
The Browns, who have spent years looking for a franchise QB, traded three first-round draft picks to Houston in March for Watson and then signed him to a five-year, $230m contract.
Cleveland’s plan all along has been to play Jacoby Brissett, who has made 37 career starts, while Watson serves a suspension. However, that could change if Watson is out much longer or for the entire 2022 season.
One possible option for the Browns could be Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been supplanted as San Francisco’s starter by Trey Lance and is expected to be either traded or waived this month by the 49ers.
Former attorney general of New Jersey Peter C. Harvey will hear the NFL’s appeal
Watson has settled out of court with a number of the women who have accused him