Deshaun Watson’s suspension is looming ahead of his hearing with the NFL and reports indicate it could be even harsher than previously expected.
The off-field issues for Deshaun Watson have done anything but gone away and, though the Texans elected to sit him for the entirety of the 2021 season, the on-field hammer appears as if it’s about to drop for the now-Cleveland Browns quarterback.
It’s not been a secret that a suspension is coming for Watson following the NFL’s investigation into the 24 civil suits filed against him for allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to sexual assault. But on Tuesday, June 28, Watson is set to meet with league officials to begin his hearing that will certainly result in a suspension.
And the question has been for how long Watson will be suspended for. Now, we’re starting to get some clarity into that matter.
Deshaun Watson rumors: Indefinite suspension possible
According to a report from Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Watson is expected to be suspended for a year at minimum. However, the report also states that Watson could face an indefinite suspension that would require more than a year before he can apply for reinstatement from the NFL.
This indicates a potential increase in the severity of the punishment in relation to previous reports that stated that the Browns quarterback would be out for the 2022 season. Now, it could be the 2022 season and more.
Not great for a player who Cleveland signed to a $230 million contract that is fully guaranteed after trading for him.
Browns contingency plan with Deshaun Watson suspension
With Watson almost surely out for the upcoming season, the question then becomes what the Browns will do at quarterback with their newly acquired signal-caller out of the equation. If you’re thinking that they could hold onto Baker Mayfield, though, dispel that notion right now.
Despite the opportunity to start for Cleveland once again being on the table, all indications are that the bridge between Mayfield and the team that drafted him first overall has been completely burned. As such, the contingency plan for the Browns appears to be to let Jacoby Brissett, who signed a one-year deal with the franchise this offseason, take the reins of the offense.
This situation is incredibly ugly for the Browns but, frankly, they should’ve known and expected that upon making the trade for Watson. Anything negative that comes to the organization as a result of the trade is deserved at this point.