With at least a six-game suspension now given to him, how much money will Deshaun Watson lose?
After a lengthy wait, Sue L. Robinson finally released her decision on whether and to what extent suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson Monday morning. He’s getting a six-game ban after more than two dozen known allegations of sexual misconduct attached to massages.
The NFL can now appeal Robinson’s decision within the next three days. With earlier reports suggesting they wanted a much longer, indefinite suspension for Watson, and with commissioner Roger Goodell or a designee hearing said appeal, a longer suspension is definitely in play.
When they gave Watson a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract, the Browns structured the deal in such a way that a suspension wouldn’t cost him nearly as much as it could have this season. His $44.965 million signing bonus is not impacted by the suspension, and his $46 million salaries for 2023-2026 are also untouched by the ban.
Under his previous contract, before the trade to the Browns, a six-game suspension would have cost Watson $11.6 million ($35 million base salary, h/t to Pro Football Talk).
How much money will Deshaun Watson lose to his suspension?
Watson’s 2022 base salary is just $1.035 million. Divided by 18 weeks, that’s $57,500 per week. Multiply that by six, and Watson will lose $345,000 with his suspension as it is currently.
Of course if the NFL appeals Robinson’s decision and adds games via their clearly skewed toward what the league wants appeal process there, the NFLPA seems sure to respond and the process could continue all the way up to federal court before Watson ever serves a suspension. That said, Watson would have no path to a direct counter appeal if the NFL adds games to the ban.
Even in a worst-case scenario where he’s suspended for the entire season, Watson would only lose that $1.035 million in base salary. His suspension presumably wouldn’t go beyond that, into “indefinite” territory the league apparently has wanted, lest their be more lawsuits against him.
So all in all, right or wrong and no matter how long it is, Watson will not lose much money with his suspension.