Deshaun Watson ‘probably’ facing one-year ban from NFL

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Deshaun Watson is bracing to miss the entire season.

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske reports that someone in Watson’s camp believes the NFL will “probably” seek to suspend him for a year over myriad sexual misconduct claims from female massage therapists.

A source from the NFL’s side told the outlet to be “careful” about jumping to conclusions regarding the specific length of Watson’s apparently-looming suspension – but that it would nonetheless be “significant.”

Earlier this week, ProFootballTalk reported that the NFLPA would be expected to mount an aggressive defense on Watson’s behalf. Defense against harsh punishment has generally been an uphill battle once the NFL makes a ruling under its Personal Conduct Policy, however, due to a Collective Bargaining Agreement that grants the league and commissioner Roger Goodell wide latitude.

Deshaun Watson’s camp is bracing for the NFL to impose a one-year suspension.
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The 26-year-old Watson was traded from the Texans to the Browns this past offseason and proceeded to sign a five-year, $230 million contract that was fully guaranteed.

He has been sued by more than 20 Houston-area massage therapists for alleged sexual misconduct. Two accusers shared lurid details of their interactions with Watson on HBO’s “Real Sports.”

A recent New York Times bombshell revealed that Watson used “at least” 66 different female massage therapists in a 17-month stretch between 2019 and 2021.

Two Texas grand juries decided not to press criminal charges against Watson.

The civil litigation is pending, and will not be resolved before the end of this upcoming football season unless the two sides – Watson is represented by Rusty Hardin, and all of the plaintiffs are represented by Tony Buzbee – reach a settlement.

Watson was traded from the Texans to the Browns this past offseason, later signing a five-year, $230 million contract.
Watson was traded from the Texans to the Browns this past offseason, later signing a five-year, $230 million contract.
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Watson and his attorneys have remained adamant that any sexual contact with the massage therapists was consensual.

If Watson is suspended for the entire season, the Browns have quite the conundrum at quarterback. Baker Mayfield said he felt “disrespected” by what he characterized as the Browns’ dishonesty during their Watson dispute, and wants out. The team also brought in veteran arm Jacoby Brissett this offseason.



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