One of the more surprising elements from Deshaun Watson’s legal saga related to the 24 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct by the quarterback was the Cleveland Browns’ willingness to give him a five-year, $230.5 million fully guaranteed contract after acquiring Watson, via trade, from the Houston Texans.
Watson was handed a six-game suspension by former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson, and while the sentencing was considered light by most standards, it’s not as light as the financial impact that the six missed games will have on Watson’s new deal. Which is ticking off the rest of the NFL.
As relayed by Bleacher Report, Watson is slated to only “lose about “$344,655 from missed game checks from a six-game suspension.”
The report adds, “His nearly $45 million signing bonus will not be affected by any suspension.”
NBC Sports’ Peter King relayed the news, from a source, that 31 teams are looking at this hit and dubbing it a “rigged” deal by the Browns.
King noted, “One influential NFL person told me on this trip that it doesn’t sit well with the league or 31 other owners that the Browns rigged the Watson contract so that his suspension would cause him to lose only a fraction of his 2022 compensation.”
The new contract was concurrent with the uncertainty surrounding how many games, if any, Watson would be suspended in the upcoming season due to the accusations.