CLEVELAND, Ohio — Deshaun Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy in a settlement, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
Watson, 26, is awaiting Peter C. Harvey’s ruling on the NFL’s appeal of his six-game suspension imposed by NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Aug. 1.
The NFL exercised its right to appeal, and is seeking an indefinite suspension of at least a year, a substantial fine, and treatment for Watson’s pattern of behavior.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who appointed Harvey to rule on the appeal instead of doing it himself, echoed the words of Robinson by describing Watson’s conduct with the multiple massage therapists accusing him of sexual misconduct as “egregious” and “predatory.”
Thirty have accused Watson, and the NFL based its argument against him in a three-day evidentiary hearing on the four strongest of those cases.
At the NFL league meeting Tuesday in Minneapolis, Goodell confirmed that the NFL was seeking banishment on appeal with the chance to apply for reinstatement after the season given the multiple violations of the personal conduct policy.
In negotiations leading up to Robinson’s 16-page report, the NFL refused to budge on anything less than a 12-game suspension and $8 million fine, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.
The NFL is hoping that Harvey abides by the recommendations of it’s investigators after a 15-month probe and banishes Watson for the season.
Amid the uncertainty, the Browns announced on Wednesday that Watson will start Friday night’s first preseason game in Jacksonville along with most of the starters, provided he’s not suspended indefinitely by then. It will be his first live action since Jan. 3, 2021, a 41-38 loss to the Titans when he was with the Texans.
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