Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
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Browns’ contract with Deshaun Watson could be delayed a year

The NFL is preparing to angle for an “indefinite suspension” against Deshaun Watson, according to the Wall Street Journal. It means the Browns quarterback could face a significant financial blow if suspended.

Discussions have reportedly included the possibility of Watson’s contract with Cleveland being delayed a year if suspended the entire season. Shortly after the Harris County grand jury returned nine “no” bills on nine criminal complaints against the quarterback, Cleveland traded for Deshaun Watson and signed him to a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $230 million. A clause built into the contract mandates Watson will lose only $55,556 for every game he’s suspended this season.

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According to WSJ, if his contract was delayed, the first year of his deal would not be completely “wiped out”. Instead, 2023 would reportedly mark the start of his five years. As a result, Watson’s free agency period could be delayed if and when he would be reinstated. As well as that, it would depend on the specifics the final punishment.


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His hearing with Sue L. Robinson, the disciplinary officer appointed by the NFL and players association, is reportedly slated to begin Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The NFL Players Association will “mobilize with an aggressive defense on Watson’s behalf”. This will reportedly include comparisons to the league’s handling of cases involving three prominent team owners—the Commanders’ Daniel Snyder, Patriots’ Robert Kraft and Cowboys’ Jerry Jones.

As for the league, an indefinite suspension would “give the NFL the flexibility to keep him out for longer based on a variety of factors, including whether more cases surface”. NFL officials have reportedly “zeroed in” on five specific women “whose cases they believe include the strongest evidence”. The league is reportedly pushing for the “indefinite suspension” to be no less than one year.

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