Browns’ Deshaun Watson Requires Approval From Clinicians In Order To Return From Suspension As Planned
Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson has begun serving his eleven game suspension in the National Football League, but there are reportedly conditions that Watson must meet in order to properly return to the game of football after the suspension, as outlined in the settlement he reached with the NFL. According to officials, in order for Watson to return, he must have his massage therapists approved by the Browns or whichever club he plays for, for as long as he remains a player in the NFL.
Browns General Manager Andrew Berry stated back in August that the team has put a “plan in place” for Watson’s massage appointments. Jonathan Jones from CBS states that the settlement says that Watson may only have “club-directed sessions and club-approved massage therapists” for the duration of his NFL career — not just with the Browns.
Following the announcement of his discipline in August, Watson issued a statement saying that he was appreciative of the “tremendous support” he’s received through his short time with the Browns.
“As we have previously conveyed, Deshaun and his representatives have abided by the NFL and NFLPA structure awaiting a final decision and we have respected the process. Now that a decision on discipline has been reached, we understand this is a real opportunity to create meaningful change and we are committed to investing in programs in Northeast Ohio that will educate our youth regarding awareness, understanding, and most importantly, prevention of sexual misconduct and the many underlying causes of such behavior,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said as part of the teams’ statement.
The NFL recently appealed Judge Sue L. Robinson’s six-game suspension of Watson. The NFLPA initially asked the NFL not to do so and on the eve before the decision came out, vowed not to exercise its own right to appeal. However, the NFL wanted Watson to serve a suspension longer than six-games and had been pushing for a one-year indefinite suspension.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently publicly stated that Watson’s behavior was “egregious” and “predatory” when asked for his thoughts about the suspension.
“Because we’ve seen the evidence. She [disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson] was very clear about the evidence,” Goodell said. “She reinforced the evidence that there [were] multiple violations here and they were egregious and it was predatory behavior.”
Former NJ Attorney General Peter C. Harvey was chosen by Goodell to hear and decide the appeal of the six-game suspension but it never got to that point, since a settlement was reached.
Watson signed a deal with the Browns worth $230 million dollars fully guaranteed. The NFLPA had vowed in the past that it would appeal any final decision that required a one-year or longer suspension by challenging it in federal court.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFL intends on using the full $7 million fine to invest in organizations dedicated to preventing sexual misconduct & sexual assault.
The 26-year-old quarterback spent three years at Clemson including winning the national championship in 2016. He was the 12th overall pick by the Texans in 2017. He went to 3 pro bowls with the Texans. Due to the allegations and contract disputes with the Texans, Watson did not play at all in the 2021 season. He has not played a regular season game since January 3rd, 2021.
Watson cannot have any contact with Browns personnel or go to their facilities until October 10th. The first game he will be eligible for will be December 4th when the Browns travel to Houston to take on Watson’s former team.
CBS Sports has more HERE.