NFL, Deshaun Watson reach settlement on length of suspension
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The NFL and NFL Players Asocciation have reached a settlement in the Deshaun Watson case as the Cleveland Browns quarterback has been suspended for 11 games and will pay a $5 million fine. After Watson was initially handed a six-game suspension by disciplinary officer Sue Robinson, the NFL appealed.
There was no need for Peter Harvey to make his decision on the case after the league and the players association agreed on an 11-game suspension. "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," Watson said in a statement released by the Browns.
"I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. 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."
Watson vows to become a better man
Watson was accused of se*ual misconduct during massage sessions by 24 different women. The settlement reached between the NFL and Watson includes the quarterback undergoing a mandatory evaluation by behavioral experts.
Also, Watson will have to follow their treatment. "Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "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." Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam accepted the 11-game suspension and said they are confident Watson will do his best to never again make same mistakes.
"As we have previously conveyed, Deshaun and his representatives have abided by the NFL and NFLPA structure awaiting a final decision and we have respected the process," Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement.
"Now that a decision on discipline has been reached, we understand this is a real opportunity to create meaningful change and we are committed to investing in programs in Northeast Ohio that will educate our youth regarding awareness, understanding, and most importantly, prevention of se*ual misconduct and the many underlying causes of such behavior.
Since Deshaun entered our building, he has been an outstanding member of our organization and shown a true dedication to working on himself both on and off the field. We will continue to support him as he focuses on earning the trust of our community."