Update: Here is a full look at Robinson's conclusion. The idea that the encounters were "non-violent" appears to be the reason for the lighter ruling. Robinson's definition of "non-violent" is disputed by many.
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
Update: The NFL has released a statement on the ruling, but does not say if they will appeal the ruling or not.
The NFL statement on the Deshaun Watson ruling pic.twitter.com/0kE7wiQi7C— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2022
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended by the NFL for six games, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Watson’s suspension stems from twenty-four massage therapists coming forward detailing sexual misconduct by the quarterback while he was with the Houston Texans.
The arbiter for this case, Sue Robinson, came back with a six-game suspension. Both the NFL and Watson are allowed to appeal the decision. It seems unlikely that Watson should appeal, as it was previously reported that his camp would “accept” six to eight games. The NFL, however, will appeal, as it was previously reported they were pushing for a 12-game suspension and hefty fines. Commissioner Roger Goodell is the final arbitrator.
The Browns traded for Watson back in late March. Due to a no-trade clause there was a bidding war for his services despite the numerous allegations. He ended up going to the Browns for the 13th and 107th overall selections in the 2022 NFL Draft along with a first and third-round pick in 2023 and a first and fourth in 2024. The Browns went on to give Watson a historic contract with $230 million in guaranteed money.
Watson’s overall contract will not be affected by the suspension other than the loss of game checks. This season, Watson’s base contract is also just $1 million, meaning he would lose just $57,500 for each game he is suspended for in 2022.
If he does not appeal, Watson will return to the Browns in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. In his absence, the team has indicated that Jacoby Brissett will be the backup.