DeShaun Watson Has Been Suspended for 6 Games

So the verdict is in. 6 games it is.

Additional details: no further fine, Watson must get all massages from team masseuses.

Apparently the NFL can appeal this decision for additional games tacked on to the suspension if it wishes, and it has I believe 3 days to do so, but it has not signaled anything as of yet.

I thought it would be more like 8-10 games just because of the sheer number of accusations against him. And it may yet be, but this is the initial ruling. It’s possible the NFL does not challenge this and leaves it as it is.

Pelissero also provided this screenshot of the judge’s conclusion:

She says Watson’s pattern of conduct is “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”

But the judge said that the NFL had not yet changed its policy on sexual misconduct prior to the Watson allegations dropping, so it would be unfair to hold Watson to these new policy standards.

More from the ruling:

Basically she’s saying the NFL is trying to be too harsh on him by equating his behavior with that of violent conduct, when Watson’s was non-violent.

“It is inherently unfair to identify conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the penalties for such conduct after the fact.”

That’s really what this is all about.

Now it does say that the fact that Watson didn’t play during the 2021 season did not factor in to this decision, but it’s hard to believe that.

Are we really to believe the NFL would have let Watson play in 2021 if he and the Texans wanted him to play? I highly doubt it.

Watson was pseudo-suspended for the 2021 season. He still got paid, but I firmly believe that had none of these sexual misconduct allegations been leveled against him, he would have played games in 2021.

They’re trying to say he didn’t play in 2021 because he had demanded a trade from the Texans and had irreconcilable differences with the organization. I just don’t believe that’s the sole reason he didn’t play. I believe it’s part of the reason, but not the full reason.

He didn’t play because the whole matter was unsettled at the time. The allegations had dropped and they were still matriculating through the courts in the 2021 season.

I really do believe that, while no one will ever admit it, the fact that Watson sat out the whole 2021 season was factored into this 6-game suspension decision. I don’t think he was allowed to play last year, even though it was never expressly said that he was ineligible to play.

Naturally, though people are upset about Watson receiving such a lenient penalty:

Calvin Ridley absolutely got screwed. So did D-Hop.

Burfict, though, I would say got a fair penalty because he was a repeat offender. As was Josh Gordon.

Warren Sharp brings up some great points here:

This is the Browns’ schedule for the first 6 games:

The Chargers, Patriots and Steelers should be tough games, but the Browns also get those games at home. It’s 4 home games and 2 away games. I think given the overall talent on that Browns roster, it’s reasonable to expect them to be 3-3 or at worst 2-4 by the time Watson comes back.

We’ll keep an eye on this story going forward to see if the NFL adds any more games to the suspension, but for now it seems like Watson and the Browns got let off the hook pretty easy.

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