Deshaun Watson leaves Browns as NFL suspension begins

Deshaun Watson leaves Browns as NFL suspension begins

On the identical time his teammates began working towards, Deshaun Watson headed in a special course.

Cleveland’s rookie quarterback started serving his prolonged NFL suspension for sexual misconduct on Tuesday, a punishment that may maintain Watson away from the Browns till Oct. 10.

Watson was positioned on reserve/suspended from the commissioner’s checklist shortly earlier than follow started after the Browns finalized their beginning 53-man roster on the ultimate day. Sporting a baseball cap, Watson walked out of the workforce facility shortly after 3:00 PM EDT, obtained into his automotive and drove away.

He was requested to go away by 4 p.m. in accordance with the suspension he agreed to in an Aug. 18 settlement with the league.

A 3-time Professional Bowler, Watson agreed to take a seat 11 video games, pay a $5 million high quality and bear obligatory therapy and counseling earlier than he may be part of the Browns. So long as he meets the NFL’s settlement necessities, he might be eligible to play in Week 13 – on the street towards the Houston Texans.

The 26-year-old was accused of sexually assaulting and harassing two dozen girls throughout therapeutic massage remedy periods when he performed for the Texans. He has settled 23 out of 24 civil lawsuits filed by girls.

In the course of the suspension, Watson can’t have contact with Browns personnel.

Coach Kevin Stefanski met with Watson earlier than the QB’s departure. Whereas not giving specifics of their dialog, Stefanski stated he is assured Watson will make the product time away.

“I feel it is an excellent alternative for him now whereas he is away from this constructing to work on soccer, work on himself and work on a bunch of various issues,” Stefanski stated.

Stefanski wouldn’t touch upon whether or not Watson will stay within the Cleveland space throughout the suspension.

“I do know he will be right here for just a few days no less than to begin,” Stefanski stated. “I feel he has an excellent plan. Clearly, we won’t direct it and we won’t observe it. There is no contact with him till October 10. I am positive he has plan for do some good work whereas he is away from the constructing.”

Watson has at all times denied any wrongdoing, and he has maintained his innocence since agreeing to the settlement reached between the NFL Gamers Affiliation and the NFL following the league’s enchantment of his unique six-game suspension.

In reviewing his case, Sue L. Robinson, a former federal decide appointed to deal with league self-discipline, discovered Watson’s conduct “appalling” and “predatory.”

So long as Watson abides by the league’s guidelines, he can return to the Browns’ follow facility about midway by way of his suspension. He can resume coaching on November 14 and formally return two weeks later.

Underneath league guidelines, when Watson returns, he might be allowed to obtain therapy from the workforce’s medical and athletic employees. As a part of his deal, any therapeutic massage have to be scheduled by the Browns and solely with therapeutic massage therapists mandated by the membership.

Stefanski stated Watson plans to work with Quincy Avery, a widely known quarterbacks coach.

Watson performed in Cleveland’s first preseason recreation at Jacksonville, his first reside motion since Jan. 3, 2021, after sitting out final season with Houston. By the point he performs for the Browns, who signed him to a totally assured $230 million contract in March, Watson is not going to have performed in a daily season recreation in 700 days.

Jacoby Brissett has moved into Watson’s beginning spot and can attempt to maintain the Browns aggressive throughout the suspension. Brissett, who has made 37 profession begins, might be backed up by Joshua Dobbs.

Reporting by the Related Press.

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