The NFL and NFLPA have reached an agreement on how to discipline Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. As was announced by the league on Wednesday, Brown will be suspended for the first 11 games of the season and fined $5 million.
Additionally, Watson promptly undergo a professional evaluation by behavioral experts and participate in what the league described as a “treatment program.”
Watson, 26, had been found guilty of having violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy earlier this month after two dozen women had brought forward accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment. Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, heard the case and originally suspended Watson for six games.
The league later appealed the decision in hopes of increasing the suspension. Now it has reached common ground with the Players Association.
“Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” league commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension.”
Watson’s $5 million fine plus $1 million each from the NFL and the Browns organization will be used to create a fund. The goal is to support non-profit organizations educating young people on healthy relationships and sexual misconduct; additionally, victims of sexual assault will be supported.