Statement from the NFL
NEW YORK - Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns is suspended without pay for the first 11 games of the 2022 regular season and fined $5 million for violations of the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, it was announced today. In addition, Watson will promptly undergo a professional evaluation by behavioral experts and will follow their treatment program.
The announcement comes after an agreement reached by the NFL and the NFLPA and concludes the disciplinary process.
Watson's fine and contributions from the NFL and the Browns of $1 million each will create a fund of $7 million. This fund will support the work of non-profit organizations across the country that educate young people on healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes.
"Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL," Commissioner Roger Goodell stated. "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."
On August 1, Judge Sue L. Robinson, the independent Disciplinary Officer jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, found that Watson violated the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy on multiple occasions. She suspended him for six games.
The CBA affords the NFL or NFLPA the right to appeal the discipline imposed by the Disciplinary Officer. Today's announcement concludes the process and there will be no designee ruling or additional legal steps.
Watson's suspension will take effect at the final roster cutdown and he will be eligible for reinstatement on November 28.
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Statements from the Haslam's
Statement from Dee and Jimmy Haslam:
“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. 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 sexual 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.”
Statement from Deshaun Watson:
“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. 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.”