According to several news outlets, a decision on the suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was reached on Thursday.
Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network was one of the first to report that Watson will be suspended 11 games, fined $5 million and attend mandatory counseling. The settlement was negotiated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Watson has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, which led to the filing of 25 lawsuits.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson suspension increased to 11 games, $5 million fine, mandatory counseling in settlement negotiated by NFL and NFL Players Association in personal conduct policy disciplinary matter, per league sources @PFN365— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 18, 2022
Recently, it had been rumored that Watson would accept an eight game suspension and $5 million fine. It has also been reported that the league wanted to suspend him for the entire 2022 season, so this appears to be somewhat of a compromise if it holds up. The 11 game suspension would mean that Watson is available to play in Week 13 against his former team, the Houston Texans, on Nov. 28.
Per Pro Football Rumors there are further conditions to the deal, which has reportedly not yet been signed but agreed to:
“Counseling will also be mandatory for the Browns quarterback, per the settlement. This agreement, a five-game bump from the original suspension announced by disciplinary officer Sue Robinson, will prevent this saga from spilling into court.”
Breaking: NFL and NFLPA reached agreement on an 11-game suspension for Browns QB Deshaun Watson, per sources. The settlement also includes a fine of $5 million that will go to charity. Deal still is not signed but it is agreed to. pic.twitter.com/2dFvcePL9k— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 18, 2022
Watson’s $5 million fine and $1 million contributions each from the Browns and the NFL — totaling $7 million — will go to a fund to support the work of organizations across to country educate young people on healthy relationships, and promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct, according to cleveland.com.
Watson, and team owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, issued statements on the deal via Browns Twitter later Thursday morning:
The NFL also confirmed the reports in a press release, stating that this concludes the disciplinary process. There will be no designee ruling or additional legal steps.
“Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated. “This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension. We are grateful to Judge Robinson and Peter Harvey for their efforts in addressing these matters, which laid the foundation for reaching this conclusion.”