Deshaun Watson suspension: What does it mean, what happens next? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The NFL world woke up to the news of Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension Monday, with a majority of responses concluding that the Cleveland Browns quarterback ended up with a lighter punishment than expected stemming from sexual misconduct accusations by 24 massage therapists in Texas.
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Let’s take a look at what the next three days hold for the NFL, Watson and his legal team, and the Browns:
How long is Deshaun Watson’s suspension?
If the case is appealed, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is authorized under the collective bargaining agreement to make a final decision on how long Watson should be suspended. Goodell has three days to make such a decision, under the CBA. The deadline can be extended if the union agrees.
“For now, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have not published the decision. The union responded to our question as to whether the decision will be released by saying that it doesn’t know. The league has not yet responded to an email and a text message raising the question,” NBC’s Mike Florio reported.
Here’s just a little bit of what could be at stake if and when Goodell overrules Robinson.
How does Deshaun Watson’s suspension compare to other NFL players in the past?
Earlier this year, New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara was arrested at the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas for an incident at a nightclub, according to multiple reports.
Some are arguing that Kamara should receive a lighter punishment than Watson:
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a college student in a Georgia nightclub, which resulted in a six-game suspension in 2010.
Roethlisberger’s case involved one woman, whereas Watson’s incident included 24 women.
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins got a 6 game suspension for the upcoming season due to a PED violation.
Other notable incidents include Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s suspension indefinitely (through at least the 2022 season) for betting on NFL games and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott receiving a six-game suspension in 2016 for domestic violence allegations.
How do the Cleveland Browns benefit from the Watson suspension news?
If Watson serves the recommended six-game suspension without any appeal from the NFL, then the Browns would be deemed one of the bigger winners from Monday’s decision. And that’s because the Browns have an easy schedule for the first six weeks.
Here are their first six matchups of the 2022 regular season:
Sept. 11: Panthers
Sept. 18: Jets
Sept: 22: Steelers
Oct. 2: Falcons
Oct. 9: Chargers
Oct. 16: Patriots
That raised the suspicion of a few conspiracy theorists on Twitter Monday.
Robinson’s decision also requires Watson only get massages from club personnel:
NFL players react to Watson news
Falcons running back Cordarelle Patterson was quick on the trigger to react to the news, including insisting his teammate Ridley should be relieved of punishment.
Running back Silas Redd Jr., who played with the Washington Redskins from 2014-15, was suspended from the NFL for a year for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.