Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson who was accused of sexual misconduct by more than a couple dozen women has been handed down 11 game suspension and $5.69 million fine as punishment. The punishment is worth a note however and has been a hot topic of discussion. We find out.
The $5.69 million fine is worth a note, as this makes Deshaun the first player to be fined by NFL under its Personal Conduct Policy. If we see at the previous suspensions, a player would lose around $9 million for a 9 game ban if he makes $18 million a year.
For Watson however, NFL decided on a fine along with the ban because of these reasons:
a) While playing for Huston Texans previous year, the quarterback bagged his entire salary of $10.5 million without playing a single game. And not just the public, but also a few officials at NFL were in favor of this decision.
b) Deshaun’s contract structure with the Browns is another reason. The suspension’s impact on Watson’s salary was minimal because of this structure. And it’s worth noting that the contract was a topic of debate and was facing constant criticism.
Now Watson’s contract with Cleveland Browns is for 5 years. Also, the first year contract that is under radar wasn’t in favor of Watson, but was standard NPF procedure. However, the contract was bothersome for many, including the NFL officials. Therefore, in addition to the 11 game suspension, the $5.69 Million fine was called for.
What does the fine mean for Deshaun Watson?
Although the amount of $5.69 Million may seem a lot, it wouldn’t mean much to the quarterback. Apart from all the earnings from the previous contract with Houston, Watson will make $46 Million per year from 2023 till 2026 as salary. By comparison, the $5 Million salary sure does look tiny, but it was NLS’s obligation to fine the player along with imposing the suspension.
Deshaun will also undergo counseling for violation of NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy followed by an evaluation.
What does this mean for everyone else?
Well, not many people were satisfied with the NFL’s ruling. The fine is nothing when compared to money Deshaun makes, but this is what settlements look like. The ordeal needed a closure, it it found one.
Jimmy Haslam, the owner of Browns said to reporters that he would make the Watson trade again. He believes in people deserving second chance and plans to keep Deshaun as their quarterback for a long time.