Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson received a six-game suspension Monday from the 2022 NFL season for sexual misconduct.
The ruling was issued by former Federal District Judge Sue Robinson, who headed the Disciplinary Committee appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) following the quarterback’s March 2021 claims.
Last June 21, Deshaun Watson reached confidential settlements with 20 of the 24 women who filed those civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
That is why the settlement includes a demand that Watson receives no massage therapy other than that performed by his team staff.
Despite those confidential agreements that prevented the lawsuits from proceeding in June, the Disciplinary Committee evaluated the quarterback’s situation for three days and announced that it would issue a verdict before the start of the 2022 season.
The former Houston Texans quarterback, who signed a $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns in March, will not receive an additional fine for his behavior.
Although the league and the NFLPA have three business days to file a written appeal if they disagree with the six-game suspension, the Players Association on Sunday issued a statement saying it would not appeal.
“In anticipation of Judge Robinson’s decision, we reiterate the facts of the proceeding. We cooperated with the NFL and turned over information for investigation; therefore, regardless of the decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will abide by his decision and we urge the NFL to do the same,” the NFLPA reported.”
The Cleveland Browns, who expected a suspension against the three-time Pro Bowl selection, signed quarterback Jacoby Brissett, formerly of the Miami Dolphins to be under the team’s control while Deshaun served his punishment.
In addition to Brissett, head coach Kevin Stefanski’s staff also has quarterback Josh Rosen who played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021, as a backup at the position.