Deshaun Watson: NFL, NFLPA reach agreement to suspend Cleveland Brown’s QB for 11 games, m fine

Deshaun Watson: NFL, NFLPA reach agreement to suspend Cleveland Brown’s QB for 11 games, $5m fine

According to the agreement, Watson will “subject to a professional assessment by behavioral experts and follow their treatment program.”

“I’m moving on with my career and my life and will continue to stand by my innocence,” Watson told media on Thursday. “Just because comparisons and things like that happen doesn’t mean that person is guilty of anything.”

He added: “I feel like there’s an opportunity for the person to stand by their innocence and prove that and we’ve proven that on the legal side and we just have to move forward as individuals and as people. “

Twenty-four civil lawsuits were filed against Watson; 23 were settled confidentially. Two Texas grand juries declined to criminally indict Watson.

Watson violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy in private meetings with massage therapists while with the Houston Texans. League Commissioner Roger Goodell called Watson’s behavior “outrageous” and “predatory”.

“Deshaun Watson deserves a second chance”

Susan “Dee” Haslam, co-owner of the Browns, pledged Thursday to invest $1 million “to raise awareness of sexual misconduct among youth.”

“We as an organization and as individuals have tremendous empathy for the women involved and we have an opportunity to make a difference in this community,” she told reporters.

Her husband and team co-owner Jimmy Haslam said: “People deserve a second chance.”

The NFL, which wants a tougher sentence, says it will appeal Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's 6-game suspension

“Should he never play again? Should he never be part of society again? Doesn’t he get a chance to redeem himself? And we will do that,” he said, referring to Watson.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t have, and will continue to have, empathy for those affected,” he added. “We believe Deshaun Watson deserves a second chance.”

The NFL previously announced it would appeal a decision by former federal judge Sue L. Robinson to let Watson sit six games without pay for violating the league’s personal conduct guidelines while he was with the Houston Texans.

The league had instead been pushing for at least one full-season suspension.

Goodell stated Thursday, “Deshaun is committed to putting in the hard work on himself necessary for his return to the NFL.

“This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a substantial fine and a more substantial suspension.”

In her written decision, Robinson cited Watson’s “lack of expressed remorse” as a factor in her chosen discipline.

The Browns QB released a statement on Thursday, saying in part: “I am grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and very grateful for the tremendous support I have received during my short tenure with the Browns organization.

“I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take responsibility for the decisions I have made.”

Deshaun Watson says he's

Prior to the settlement, Watson awaited the decision of former New Jersey Attorney General and US Attorney Peter Harvey, who was named as Goodell’s designee to hear the appeal.

Watson did not play as a member of the Texans last season. Watson played in the Browns’ first preseason game last week.

Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Thursday that Watson will not play in the team’s final two preseason games. Backup Jacoby Brissett will start in place of Watson until he can return on December 4th.

According to the NFL, Watson would be eligible to play against his former team, the Texans, in Week 13.

“I really want to feel sorry for all the women I’ve influenced in this situation,” Watson said in an interview ahead of Friday’s preseason game in Florida against the Jacksonville Jaguars. “I would definitely like to have my decisions that I made in my life that got me into this position back, but I want to keep moving forward and growing and learning and showing that I’m a true person of character and I will.” keep pushing forward.”

Before the brief interview, Watson repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing, including sexual assault and harassment, involving more than two dozen women. What he meant by “this situation” he did not go into detail in the interview.

Watson, a three-time Pro Bowler, did not play for the Texans last season due to a trade claim and the investigation into those allegations.

Earlier this year, the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson and then signed him to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract, the most guaranteed money in NFL history.

CNN’s Matt Foster and Homero De La Fuente contributed to this report.