Early Monday morning, Judge Sue L. Robinson finalized her decision on the Deshaun Watson case, which resulted in a six-game suspension for the newly acquired Browns quarterback. This is excellent news for Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns, as this will allow Watson to return to the team prior to their Week 7 matchup with the division rival Baltimore Ravens.
When Watson first stepped away from football after countless accusations of sexual assault, it was unknown whether or not he would step back on an NFL field. It is safe to assume that such a short suspension was unexpected from the Cleveland Browns or their star quarterback when they agreed on a contract. However, the controversy surrounding Watson and his off-the-field actions will not stop here.
Both the NFL and the NFLPA have the option of appealing the suspension within 72 hours of the decision. On Sunday night, the NFLPA announced that they will stand by the decision of Judge Sue L. Robinson, and that they hope the NFL and Roger Goodell will do the same. The suspension will likely go unappealed by the NFL, as it will be a struggle to win the appeal with no new evidence being presented. As Watson and his lawyer have now settled 23 of the 24 cases, it seems the legal controversy regarding the case may be near its finish.
Many NFL fans are disappointed with such a short suspension being given to Watson, especially after Calvin Ridley was suspended for a full NFL season for sports gambling earlier this offseason. The NFL has a history of inconsistent disciplinary actions, and it seems that this pattern will continue into the future.
The easiest portion of the Browns 2022 season schedule are those first six weeks, with their six opponents having a combined record last season of 44-57-1. Barring an appeal from the NFL, the Browns will look to get off to a hot start with Jacoby Brissett before making the transition to Watson prior to Week 7.
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