Breaking down the full details of the Deshaun Watson settlement with the NFL

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for the first 11 games of the 2022 season. A settlement agreed upon between the NFL and the NFLPA on Thursday sets the final punishment for the Browns quarterback.

The settlement ends months of speculation and back-and-forth between the league, Watson, the NFLPA and various mediators. It’s an increase from the original suspension recommendation by Judge Sue L. Robinson of six games, a finding the NFL announced it would appeal.

This settlement ends any appeal or further action on the Watson ordeal up to this point.

Here are some of the key details to know about the settlement and how it impacts the Browns, Watson, and the multiple women who accused him of sexual misconduct while the quarterback was a member of the Houston Texans.

Watson's return

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The settlement rules out Watson from playing for the Browns for the first 11 games of the 2022 NFL season. He will be eligible to take the field for the Browns’ 12th game of the season, a Week 13 date in Houston against Watson’s old team, the Texans.

Watson will be allowed into the Browns facility beginning in Week 6 to start preparing for a return to the field. He remains eligible to play in the preseason and the conclusion of training camp.


The schedule Watson will face

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Watson will be eligible to play in the final six Browns games of the season, beginning with the Week 13 trip to Houston. Cleveland’s schedule in those contests includes three AFC North foes and four total road games.

Week 13: @ Houston Texans
Week 14: @ Cincinnati Bengals
Week 15: Baltimore Ravens
Week 16: New Orleans Saints
Week 17: @ Washington Commanders
Week 18: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The fine

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Watson himself has been fined $5 million. In addition to Watson’s financial punishment, the Browns and the NFL are each including $1 million apiece to create a $7 million fund to “support the work of nonprofit organizations around the country that educate young people on healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes.”

Salary implications

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Based on the structure of the fully guaranteed $230 million contract Watson signed with the Browns upon being traded to Cleveland, the suspension will cost Watson $650,000. The settlement does not impact the rest of the contract.

The Browns do not see any change in 2022 salary camp impact from the contract with the settlement.

Because Watson will be eligible to play in six games, he will accrue credit for a full season in the NFL.

Browns QB situation

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Jacoby Brissett will start in place of Watson during the suspension. The Browns also have Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen on the roster at quarterback.

The widespread speculation of trade interest in injured 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t appear to be a legitimate option. GM Andrew Berry gave Brissett a very strong vote of confidence in his press conference following the announcement of the settlement.

Mandatory counseling

[Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

One of the terms of the settlement is that Watson must attend counseling for

Story originally appeared on Browns Wire