Monday December 4, 2023

Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Watson Hit With 11-Game Ban, $5M Fine

  • Watson was originally suspended for six games earlier this month, a punishment the NFL appealed.
  • The settlement includes a behavioral evaluation and treatment.
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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson saw his suspension increased to 11 games as punishment for allegations of sexual misconduct.

Watson also accepted a $5 million fine and must undergo a professional behavioral evaluation and follow a treatment program — part of a deal announced Thursday between the NFL and NFLPA. 

While Watson apologized last week and again in a statement released by the Browns, he again told reporters after the settlement was announced that he “stood by [his] innocence” and that he “didn’t assault anyone or disrespected anyone.” 

Watson’s original six-game suspension was handed down earlier this month, which led the NFL to appeal the decision as it sought a ban of one year or longer. 

The settlement came before a decision was rendered on the NFL’s appeal. 

Breakdown of Settlement

Watson received a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million extension when he was acquired via a trade with the Houston Texans in March.

  • Watson’s base salary this season was $1 million, meaning that he will be out about $600,000
  • Factoring in the fine, Watson will lose about $5.6 millionroughly 2.4% of the total value of contract with the Browns.
  • Watson’s fine — along with $1 million each from the Browns and the NFL — will go toward a new fund aimed at efforts to prevent sexual assault and misconduct. 

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told reporters Thursday that the team would “absolutely” have still made the deal despite the fallout.

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