Report: Watson to Serve 11-Game Suspension in NFL, NFLPA Settlement

Report: Watson to serve 11-game suspension in NFL, NFLPA settlement originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Deshaun Watson will be suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million in a settlement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, according to multiple reports.

He reportedly will also undergo mandatory counseling, and the Browns and NFL will each donate $1 million to sexual assault prevention programs.

Watson had been facing a six-game suspension after a ruling by former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson on Aug. 1 – and the possibility of a much longer sentence after the NFL appealed Robinson’s decision.

Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed Peter Harvey to revise Watson’s sentence, a decision that would have been binding under the collective bargaining agreement, but Harvey reportedly held off on a decision while the two sides reportedly were holding active talks about a settlement earlier this week. 

The settlement puts an end to a nearly-18-month process since Watson was first accused of sexual misconduct in March 2021. After grand juries in Texas declined to indict him on sexual misconduct accusations by 24 women, the Texans traded him to the Browns, who signed him to a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract this past March.

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Watson started the Browns’ first preseason game last week, which he was eligible to do because Robinson’s sentence doesn’t apply to the preseason. Before the game, Watson apologized publicly for his actions for the first time.

“I’m truly sorry to all the women that I’ve impacted in this situation,” he said. “[There are] decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position that I would definitely like to have back.”

When is Deshaun Watson’s first game back?

Watson will be eligible to return for Cleveland’s Week 13 game against his former team, the Houston Texans. That game is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m.

Jacoby Brissett is expected to start in Watson’s absence. The Browns play the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.

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