Six game suspension ruled by NFL investigation of Deshaun Watson
|Monday, August 1, 2022, 8:40 AM-|
A former judge handling the NFL's ruling on Deshaun Watson has found that he violated the personal conduct policy and has suspended him six games.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL now has three days to decide on whether to appeal the decision. The league had been reported to be pushing for a full-season suspension.
Watson and the NFL Players Association came out with a statement Sunday evening calling on the NFL to honor the third-party decision and not appeal. Watson and the NFLPA pledged to not appeal the decision themselves.
Retired federal judge Sue Lewis Robinson handled the proceedings earlier last month for Monday's decision. The decision is also reported to include a clause saying Watson can only get massages from his NFL team's personnel and must maintain a clean record from police investigation and the league's personal conduct policy. There is no fine attached to the decision.
Watson has settled 23 of the 24 civil lawsuits against him for sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Watson had been accused by 25 women within those cases from events from March 2020 to March 2021 while he was with the Houston Texans.
He was traded to the Cleveland Browns in March where he signed a $230 million contract that's fully guaranteed for the next five years. That contract was structured in such a way that a six-game suspension will cost Watson only $333,333 in salary, per ESPN's Field Yates.
NFL now has three days to decide to appeal Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2022
Given the structure of his contract and a base salary of $1M for 2022, the six-game suspension will cost Deshaun Watson $333,333 in salary.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 1, 2022
More on Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension and why the NFLPA wanted the new disciplinary process structured this way in the 2020 CBA, even though Roger Goodell retained authority over the appeals process. @gmfb @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/IHZCApLGAg— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 1, 2022
Judge Sue L. Robinson’s decision says Deshaun Watson’s “pattern of behavior was egregious,” but notes that behavior was “nonviolent sexual conduct” in explaining the decision to suspend him six games, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 1, 2022
1) Sue L. Robinson's decision wasn't based on the 24 lawsuits. It was based on five cases brought by the NFL (4 of the 5 were plaintiffs). So yes, there are a lot more accusations against Watson. But Robinson's decision is based on the five cases the NFL presented her with.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 1, 2022
3) So Roger Goodell/the NFL's decision here is complicated. Do they want to undermine a process they just established? Do they want to go back to federal court with a player?— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 1, 2022
Here are the key conclusions that Judge Robinson offered today in her written decision to suspend Deshaun Watson for six games. pic.twitter.com/gPW5INw09t— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2022