Will the Cleveland Browns still pay Deshaun Watson if he gets a one-year suspension from NFL?
With the Cleveland Browns marquee signing rumored to be in line for a hefty suspension by the NFL, we look at how this will hit him in the pocketbook
With the rumor mill churning around Deshaun Watson and his probable suspension, people are wondering how much money it will cost him. The answer is unlikely to give anyone a sense of justice in the case.
Deshaun Watson was traded for a blockbuster deal from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns in the off-season, despite being the subject of more than two dozen lawsuits alleging sexual assault. Although cleared by a grand jury of any chance of facing criminal charges, Watson is still on the hook in civil court and is likely to be tied up in the courts for many months, possibly years, unless he reaches some sort of settlement deal.
Knowing that this was a situation that the NFL would be forced to act upon, the Browns and Watson hammered out a contract that protects both parties from losing any money in the event of a suspension.
Watson’s contract with the Browns was for a $45 million signing bonus plus a salary of only $1 million for the season. Since signing bonuses are not subject to being withheld under suspension rules, Watson would lose, in a worst-case-scenario, only the salary of $1 million.
The NFL have been investigating Deshaun Watson for over a year but have not yet made any decision about what length of suspension they are considering, if any. The NFL has historically been reluctant to hand down disciplinary action for non-criminal behavior, but the conventional wisdom is that with the winds changing in public opinion, and in the face of the two-year ban imposed by Major League Baseball on Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer for a very similar, and perhaps less-incriminating, allegation, the league will be forced to hand down a ban of at least a full season.
If such a ban is handed down, it will not please the Browns or Watson, but the fact that he will lose just 2% of his money will be galling to his detractors.