Deshaun Watson: NFL, NFLPA reach settlement to suspend Cleveland Browns QB for 11 games, $5 million fine

The NFL had previously announced that it would appeal a decision by former federal judge Sue L. Robinson to sit Watson without pay for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy when he was with the Houston Texans.

The league had been pushing for at least a full-season suspension instead.

League commissioner Roger Goodell stated Thursday: “Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL.

“This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension.”

In her written ruling, Robinson cited Watson’s “lack of expressed remorse” as a factor in the discipline that she chose.

The Browns QB released a statement on Thursday saying in part: “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.”

Prior to the settlement, Watson was awaiting the ruling from former New Jersey Attorney General and federal prosecutor Peter Harvey, who was named as Goodell’s designee to hear the appeal.

Watson did not play last season while a member of the Texans. Watson did play in the Browns first preseason game last week.

According to the NFL, Watson would be eligible to return to play in week 13, against his former team the Texans.

More to follow…