Browns’ Deshaun Watson ready to accept more significant suspension from NFL ahead of preseason debut: report

Browns’ Deshaun Watson ready to accept more significant suspension from NFL ahead of preseason debut: report

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Deshaun Watson will be back on the field for the first time since 2020 as he makes his debut for Cleveland Brown’s preseason exhibition on Friday night, but with an appeal still looming from his six-game suspension, Watson is poised to take the NFL somewhere in the NFL to hit center, according to a report.

The NFL initially requested a minimum-year ban for the former Houston Texans quarterback after 24 women accused him of sexual assault. However, an independent disciplinary commissioner appointed jointly by the league and the NFLPA decided on a six-game suspension without a fine.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson participates in drills during NFL football team training camp Monday, August 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson participates in drills during NFL football team training camp Monday, August 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

Now that the NFL is appealing that decision over evidence that Commissioner Roger Goodell has called “predatory behavior” by Watson, the embattled quarterback is poised to agree to a tougher punishment.

DESHAUN WATSON’S SUSPENSION EXPLAINED IN THE DISCIPLINARY OFFICER’S 16-PAGE REPORT

A person familiar with Watson’s defense told The Associated Press on Thursday that he would accept an eight-game suspension and a $5 million fine not to miss the entire season.

It remains unclear whether the league would be willing to compromise. Goodell claimed during Tuesday’s owners meetings that the evidence reviewed by retired Judge Sue L. Robinson was “very clear” to describing the basis of Watson’s case.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, participates in drills during NFL football team training camp Monday, August 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, participates in drills during NFL football team training camp Monday, August 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

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“She was very clear on the evidence. It reinforced the evidence that there were multiple violations here and they were egregious and that this was predatory behavior,” Goodell said.

“Those were always things that we thought were really important, and in a responsible way.”

Deshaun Watson, #4 of the Cleveland Browns, takes off his helmet during Cleveland Browns training camp at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus August 09, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.

Deshaun Watson, #4 of the Cleveland Browns, takes off his helmet during Cleveland Browns training camp at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus August 09, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

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The fate of Watson’s future rests in the hands of former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, who was appointed by Goodell last week to hear the case. While his decision would be binding under the collective agreement, the NFLPA could challenge the decision in federal court.

Regardless of the ruling, Watson can still attend preseason games, and Browns fans can watch their new quarterback when Cleveland takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars at 7 p.m. ET

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paulina Dedaj is a digital reporter for Fox News and Fox Business. Follow Paulina Dedaj on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. If you have a tip, you can email Paulina at [email protected]