As with many new news, Deshan Watson will be suspended 11 games, fined $5 million and undergo evaluation and counseling for violating the NFL’s individual-conduct policy.
Below the NFL’s statement were a few words. Today’s announcement concludes the process. 11 games doesn’t seem like enough, given that there were 24 women who sued Watson alleging sexual misconduct.
Judge Sue L. Robinson found that the NFL proved by its definition that it committed sexual assault against the four women whose cases were presented to them, and Commissioner Roger Goodell last week called Watson’s alleged behavior violent.
The penalty is very small in the context of a fully guaranteed contract. The Cleveland Browns insisted Watson in the spring Thursday that he was innocent and never sexually assaulted or insulted anyone for which he was apologizing.
The compromise is not with remorse or self-awareness for him, but with a desire to move on with his life. Given Watson’s alleged behavior and Robinson’s pursuit, it is not enough that Watson moved on with his life.
He needed to change. Realizing that Brown was very concerned about his ability to receive a massage without incident, general manager Andrew Berry said Thursday that the team worked out a plan to get Watson to receive a massage as quickly as possible.
If he ever suffered a soft tissue injury, the NFL wanted to move on with his life, which is why the league initially pushed for a full-year suspension, while the NFL Players Association wanted little.
The 11th game is much longer than the first Robinson did, but it is clear that the deal was about eliminating Watson and getting this strange case out of the limelight and kickoff at the start of the new season.
If the NFL only enforced the discipline it wanted, it was expected that the union would take the league to court. A league source explained the NFL’s justification for accepting the settlement. This important certainty is immediate and final.
Settlements usually do not give either party everything it wants. Both sides decide it anyway. Browns coach Kevin Stefansky said in his remarks on Thursday that the final look was important to everyone.
The NFL survives for months trapped in and out of the courtroom. During a previous court case against a player, a boss commented that a league fighting a player in court benefits no one except lawyers and their billable hours.
The biggest winner may be the public, who probably won’t have to talk about it again for a while. Owner Jimmy Haslam told reporters on Thursday that he would fully trade for Watson again.
Cleveland first secured quarterbacks from Houston in March and made a passionate argument for those worthy of a second chance. There was a play and he wants to win the game, accusations be damned.
It’s important to remember that Deshan is 26 years old and a high-level NFL quarterback and we plan to quarterback him for a long time, Haslam said on the Browns that Watson knew in part to that.
He almost certainly didn’t think it would be 11 games but the bet that Brown made was a freak.
To point out that this is a correct calculation, but it doesn’t comment on the owner who also made good ticket sales. Any lowly deaf may be the most important point of all Thursdays.
She seemed to disagree with Watson’s own assessment that she had done nothing wrong. She said consultations take a long time, which is why the NFL now wants a settlement so that Watson can be evaluated by experts who will be treated.