Harsher suspension is the only aspect of Deshaun Watson case that doesn’t feel sickening

The suspension, which will prevent quarterback Deshaun Watson from leading the Browns to a football game before December, evolved through a negotiation process involving the NFL, the NFL Players Association and player representatives. The league was not required to issue its appeal decision. It took a lot of heads to meet, but finally someone got it right.

The 11-game penalty is about as close to an ideal number as this off-putting circumstance could provoke. Given the lack of criminal charges, Watson would play in the league again. In the face of the Browns’ bitter, soulless desperation, he’ll do it for five truckloads of legal tender. However, he will only have a fleeting impact on the 2021 season when the team is best positioned to face a significant challenge in the AFC.

It was realized by all involved that the measly six-game ban imposed by an independent referee, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, would never stand, so those acting on Watson’s behalf during the appeals process accepted that sentence .

MORE: Watson faces 11-game ban and fined $5m

Watson reached a settlement earlier this year with 23 of 24 massage therapists who allege he was guilty of sexual misconduct during their sessions while he was a player for the Texans, who drafted him in 2017. The Texans settled with 30 women after one of them filed a lawsuit The organization claimed “turned a blind eye” and “enabled” his behavior. The New York Times reported that “a team representative also presented him with a non-disclosure agreement” after one of the women threatened to publicize her allegations.

Many of the allegations against Watson became clear in spring 2021, after which he did not compete last season. The NFL recommended Watson be suspended for a year when his case went before Robinson in June. She stated on Aug. 1 that Robinson violated the league’s personal conduct policy, writing that his “pattern of behavior is more egregious than any previously reviewed by the NFL.” But she chose not to impose a severe punishment.

MORE: Explanation of lawsuits against Deshaun Watson

Although Watson’s actions warranted 11 games, a year or more, his enforced absence from 65 percent of the schedule is appropriately punishable in some ways.

If he had been banned for all of 2022, Watson would not have started collecting the $46 million base salary he received for years two through five of the contract he signed with the Browns in March until 2024. was promised. However, he’s already sitting on the $44.96 million signing bonus he received immediately. He would not lack the money.

The Browns will get little from Watson for the $690,000 base salary they’re paying him for 2022. Which seems fair. But they must reconcile the massive cap in 2023 for a quarterback who hasn’t played more than five NFL regular-season games in the past 1,200 days as of Sept. 10, 2023. Given how they conspired with Watson’s representatives to ease the player’s financial uneasiness, that’s at least some degree of football justice.

Despite the news, owner Jimmy Haslam said he would “definitely” trade for Watson again, apparently still delighted with the deal, which cost three first-round picks, declaring: “People deserve a second chance.” But everyone deserves it a second chance worth $230 million? Oh, Haslam was just too eager to clarify that part: “It’s important to remember that Deshaun is 26 years old, OK, and he’s a high-profile NFL quarterback.”

Jimmy Haslam

Watson made it clear on Thursday that he has no regrets about his behavior, as if it’s somehow common for a man to seek massages from at least two dozen women — according to the New York Times, the number of therapists he met was lower to 70 – in less than two years.

WATCH: Watson meets with press after suspension

“I have always been able to maintain my innocence and have always said that I have never attacked or disrespected anyone,” Watson said at a press conference, ignoring that he at least disregarded the intelligence of everyone who heard it.

We won’t see him again until December 3 when the Browns take on the Texans in Houston. It feels safe to say that they will all deserve each other.

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