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Deshaun Watson Suspended Six Games

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended for the first six games of the 2022 NFL Season for violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy and allegations of sexual misconduct.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson handed down the suspension ending a months long process, which began with multiple credible accusations that Watson had assaulted women after hiring them as massage therapists and personal trainers. More than two dozen women have made complaints.

“Myles Garrett was suspended six games for hitting someone with his helmet,” said Joe Banner, former NFL Executive and Founder of The 33rd Team. “Mychal Kendricks was suspended for eight games for insider trading. We need a full explanation for this decision, because this seems very low based on precedent.”

Tom Pelissero adds that Watson will not be fined any extra money and he cannot use massage therapists outside the Cleveland Browns’ staff. He will also be able to practice with the team immediately and throughout the preseason.

The NFLPA announced late Sunday night that they they would not appeal the suspension. Previously, the league offices had made it known they were looking for 12 games and a fine in earlier negotiations. Both parties had been far apart in those negotiations—resulting in the need for a decision from Judge Robinson.

The NFL has three days to file its appeal which would be heard by Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee, per Pelissero.

“My sense is that the league won’t appeal,” said Mike Tannebaum, former NFL Executive and Founder of The 33rd Team. “The new jointly appointed arbitrator for discipline is hearing her first case. The league will want to establish new credibility for this process.”

All of this played out after Watson requested a trade out of Houston last offseason. While the Texans were working on a deal for him, the allegations of misconduct surfaced, which resulted in any move being put on hold. He hasn’t played since the end of the 2020 season after he missed all of last year while the allegations against him were investigated.

The Browns’ first six games of the season are against the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots. His first game back will be against the Baltimore Ravens on October 23rd.

Andrew Harbaugh contributed to this report.