Deshaun Watson has big reason for wanting to avoid 1-year suspension
Following an extensive investigation, an independent discipline officer recommended a six-game suspension for Deshaun Watson over sexual assault/sexual misconduct allegations. Predictably, the NFL was quick to appeal that recommendation.
In the aftermath of the league’s appeal, Watson and his representation reportedly proposed a counter-offer. Rather than serve a one-year suspension, which is what the NFL is seeking, the Cleveland Browns quarterback said he was willing to accept an eight-game suspension. That would include incurring a fine of $5 million.
There’s a specific reason Watson is looking to avoid a one-year suspension, and it has nothing to do with hurting the Browns in 2022. Rather, it has everything to do with his contract and the potential money being lost. His $1 million base salary scheduled for 2022 would roll over to 2023 if he were suspended a year. That would delay his ability to receive his money immediately.
From Watson's side, avoiding a year suspension is financially imperative.
If he is suspended a year, his contract tolls: 2022 becomes 2023 and so on. He would keep his $45M bonus this year but only make a $1M salary next year, thus he'd make $46M over two years, not one year.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) August 12, 2022
Despite the ongoing appeals process, the Browns opted to start Watson in their preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night. He completed just one of his five pass attempts for seven yards before being removed from the game.
Prior to the 24-13 victory, Watson apologized to the women he “impacted” for the very first time.
“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson said on the team’s in-house pregame show. “The decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back. “But I want to continue to move forward and grow and learn and show that I am a true person of character and I am going to keep pushing forward.”
Previously, Watson had stated he had “no regrets” regarding any of his actions during massage sessions.
There is no specific deadline for Peter C. Harvey to rule on the league’s appeal, but he must work on an “expedited” basis, according to the collective bargaining agreement. A decision could come at any moment.