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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

NFL owners’ reported stance on Deshaun Watson suspension revealed

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is unhappy with the length of the suspension that was handed down to Deshaun Watson, and it sounds like that sentiment is shared among team owners.

Disciplinary officer Judge Sue L. Robinson, who is the independent party mutually approved by both the league and NFLPA, ruled last week that Watson will be suspended for six games. Each side had 72 hours to file an appeal. Watson accepted the punishment, but the NFL has appealed. According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, at least some team owners are hoping the league prevails.

Werder said he spoke with “numerous” NFL owners who feel the punishment for Watson was not harsh enough.

The NFL is said to be seeking a suspension of at least a full season. They also want Watson to be fined. Watson’s contract with the Cleveland Browns is structured in a way that he will only have to give up roughly $350,000 in salary if he is suspended for six games.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault by 24 women. He has reached settlements with 23 of them. Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict him.

Most team owners would prefer as short of a suspension as possible for one of their star players, but it is hardly a surprise that the Browns are not receiving support. Teams are already upset with them over the way they handled one aspect of the Watson trade.


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