By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell got his wish. Kind of.
Goodell was insisting on a harsher penalty for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. On Thursday, it was announced that he was suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million.
Watson will also have to participate in a treatment program with the league. The ruling also said that Watson had to be evaluated by behavioral experts.
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This comes after the NFL and Goodell appealed the previous suspension for Watson, as former judge Sue Robinson ruled that he would be suspended six games. Goodell previously called Watson’s behavior “predatory.”
This was a slap in the face to Robinson. See, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to have her be an independent party to review suspensions.
And since this was her first ruling, it was a black eye because the league did not accept her ruling. While they had a right to appeal, it was not a good look when they did go forward with the appeal.
Previously, Goodell was judge and jury in all the cases. Since he did not like Robinson’s ruling, he wanted to bring out the power once again.
“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. “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.”
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Watson missed the 2021 season after being accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with more than 20 female massage therapists. While he has settled more than 20 civil cases, two Texas district attorneys have refused to press charges against him in the matter.
The former first-round draft pick will make his Browns debut — who acquired him in the off-season — against the Houston Texans in Week 13. The Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March.
Despite this agreement with the NFL and previously settling cases, Watson has maintained his innocence.
“Deshaun has always stated he is innocent of sexual assault,” his agent David Mulugheta said. “Nothing has changed in what he said. He also said he is remorseful, the decisions he made have created this situation.
“The settlement allows him to move forward with his life and career.”
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