Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will serve a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual misconduct, disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson dominated Monday, a supply instructed ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Watson is not going to be fined, the supply instructed Schefter.
Robinson’s complete 15-page conclusion acknowledged that though Watson violated the personal conduct policy, there was not sufficient proof to justify an indefinite suspension, a supply instructed ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The gamers’ union, in a press release Sunday evening, made it clear that it’ll “stand by” Robinson’s ruling and urged the NFL to do the identical.
Either facet would have three days to submit an enchantment in writing. In that case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will situation a written determination that can represent full, last and full disposition of the dispute,” per phrases of Article 46 in the CBA.
Watson has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct throughout therapeutic massage classes in civil lawsuits filed by 25 girls. The encounters cited in the lawsuits came about between March 2020 and March 2021, whereas Watson was a member of the Houston Texans. One of the 25 lawsuits was dropped following a choose’s ruling in April 2021 that plaintiffs wanted to amend their petitions to reveal their names. In June, Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits he was dealing with; on Monday, he agreed to settle three of the remaining 4, in line with Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee, who represents the girls suing Watson.
Last month, the Texans reached settlements with 30 girls who made claims or had been ready to make claims in opposition to the group for its alleged function concerning the allegations in opposition to Watson.
Robinson heard arguments from the league, the union and Watson’s lawyer throughout a three-day listening to held in her dwelling state of Delaware in late June. The NFL had been pushing for a suspension of no less than a 12 months, whereas the NFL Players Association and Watson’s lawyer argued that the quarterback shouldn’t be suspended in any respect. The sides mentioned a possible settlement all the manner up by way of the listening to, however they may not conform to a deal.
In the days main as much as Robinson’s determination, the league and Watson’s facet engaged in additional settlement talks, sources instructed ESPN’s Dan Graziano, however neither facet ever felt they had been near an settlement. The most Watson’s facet indicated it was prepared to supply was a suspension in the vary of six to eight games, in line with sources. The greatest the league indicated it was prepared to supply was a 12-game suspension and a big superb — in the vary of $8 million, sources stated.
If his suspension is upheld, Watson will nonetheless have the ability to take part in observe throughout the preseason. He may even be allowed to return to the Browns to observe throughout the second half of the suspension, in Week 4, in line with the CBA. But he is not going to be allowed to be with the group throughout the first half of the suspension.
Although two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue prison costs in opposition to Watson earlier this 12 months, the NFL has been investigating whether or not he violated its personal conduct policy since final 12 months. The NFL interviewed Watson over a number of days earlier this summer season. The league’s investigators additionally spoke to a number of of the girls.
Watson has constantly denied all wrongdoing and stated he has no regrets for any of his actions throughout the therapeutic massage classes. Watson additionally stated he cooperated with the NFL’s investigation and “answered each query in truth” that he was requested by the league’s investigators.
The Browns traded for Watson in March, sending three first-round draft picks to the Texans. Cleveland then gave Watson a brand new five-year contract value $230 million absolutely assured, the richest deal in NFL historical past for any participant.
Browns coach Kevin (*6*) stated at the begin of coaching camp final week that Jacoby Brissett would develop into Cleveland’s starter in the occasion of a Watson suspension. Through the first week of camp, Watson took the majority of the snaps with the first-team offense, however (*6*) indicated the Browns “could modify” their plan in the wake of Robinson’s ruling.