NFL, NFLPA Agree To Suspend Deshaun Watson For 11 Games And Fine Him $5 Million

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Cleveland Browns player Deshaun Watson was issued a $5 million fine and an 11-game suspension Thursday.

The deal has not officially been signed, but has been agreed to by both the NFL and NFLPA, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter. Watson’s $5 million fine will be donated to charity, and he’ll “promptly undergo a professional evaluation by behavioral experts and will follow their treatment program,” the NFL noted, according to TMZ.

The quarterback’s first game back will now be scheduled into week 13 in Houston against the Texans, Schefter shared on Twitter.

Watson was first suspended for six games as a result of sexual misconduct allegations. At least 24 women accused him of sexual misconduct, filing law suits against the Browns player. He settled at least 20 of those suits by mid-June.

The NFL appealed the initial six-game ban handed down by former federal Judge Sue L. Robinson, believing there was enough evidence for a stricter suspension, TMZ noted. Robinson called Watson’s behavior “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL,” according to Fox News.

Watson issued a statement on Wednesday, as did the owners of the Cleveland Browns, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, addressing the updated ruling, which was shared on Twitter by Mike Garafolo. “I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization. I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused,” Watson wrote in his statement.

“I take accountability for the decisions I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team. I’m excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland,” he continued. (RELATED: REPORT: NFL Legend Frank Gore Dragged A Naked Woman Through A New Jersey Hotel By Her Hair)

“Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said according to TMZ, “This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension.” Goodell has previously called Watson’s behavior “egregious” and “predatory,” according to quotes shared on Twitter.