Did “multiple owners” urge Roger Goodell to suspend Deshaun Watson less than a full year?

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When the NFL and quarterback Deshaun Watson agreed to an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine, a case could have been made that it would have been better for the Browns to have Watson miss a full year. That would have truly suspended Watson’s contract, pushing it back by a full year, keeping him under contract through 2027, and slashing his salary in 2023 from $46 million to the veteran minimum for a player with his level of experience (currently, that’s $1.035 million).

Some within league circles may have thought the same thing. As noted by Peter King in his new Football Morning in America column, a “prominent team executive” recently said this: “I think there were multiple owners who didn’t want Deshaun Watson suspended for the season, and told Roger Goodell that.”

An 11-game suspension results in the 2022 season counting under Watson’s contract, making him a free agent after 2026 and pushing his salary to $46 million in 2023. It brings Watson back with only six games remaining, making it very difficult for the Browns to realize significant value from Watson in the first year of his five-year deal.

Cleveland’s decision to give Watson a five-year, fully-guaranteed, $230 million contract has ruffled plenty of feathers. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, who now has to navigate the Watson deal when trying to sign Lamar Jackson to a long-term extension, spoke publicly about the Watson contract in March. As King reports it, some owners apparently spoke privately about not wanting Watson to be suspended for a full year, in what would be a bit of payback to the Browns for paying so much guaranteed money to Deshaun Watson.

16 responses to “Did “multiple owners” urge Roger Goodell to suspend Deshaun Watson less than a full year?

  1. it was always said that teams like the Browns will have to over pay to get talent .. well guess what ? it not really news that the stars want guaranteed $$. maybe its time for the few owners who have cash flow issues get out of the game!!

  2. In other words, a lot of the owners of NFL teams really don’t give a flying sh!7 about the victims, they just want the opportunity to possibly sign Watson a year earlier than would have been possible otherwise. True colors are starting to come out after the fact.

  3. This is silly and petty to punish the Browns and fans which more than likely means that it’s true. If signing Watson to a guaranteed contract makes it harder for a division rival to sign their mvp quarterback then that’s great for the Browns.

  4. The browns changed the face of the NFL in one move. I’d be furious if I was an owner. Pure incompetence.

  5. Should have been suspended until ALL his legal issues have been settled. He is a predator, and a QUITTER!!!!!

  6. I bet there are plenty of livid owners. Giving a guy with the baggage that DeShaun Watson has a fully guaranteed contract is going to result in a flood of other players wanting their guaranteed money, too. It started with Kirk Cousins, now it’s DeShaun Watson. Next up is the entire top 16 quarterbacks in the league.

  7. So what we’re saying is that the NFL has no process. It’s basically whatever the owners want to have happen is what is going to happen. Well that would explain a lot.

  8. In other words, the NFL is a corporation wrapped around 32 other corporations. They want to make money. PR is part of making money. They are not the backup criminal justice system. This is an easy concept.

  9. Just becaose the browns were desperate to give a fully guaranteed contract doesn’t mean that is the new norm. Murray signed his deal that isn’t fully guaranteed z Lamar Jackson is trying to hold firm that he wants a fully guaranteed deal but the ravens will not bite. Fully guaranteeing a contract is just stupid. If a catastrophic injury were to happen that teams cap is on the hook for 100 percent of that money. The greatest thing about this game is the fact that teams have flexibility to build their team and that bad signings don’t hamstring teams for years like it does in the the nba which is by far the worst professional sports league out of the big 4. Bunch of entitled self absorbed man babies who miss a dozen games over the season to rest but still expect 100 percent of their contract. Football is also more of a team game than the nba too and when that much of your cap is dedicated to 1 of 53 it just doesn’t make sense to guarantee 100 percent of that money.

  10. The issue here is that the other NFL owners were more concerned about punishing the Browns for the lame Watson contract than punishing Watson or supporting his victims. It’s all about the benjamins. . . . ..

  11. Owners didn’t want a full year ONLY because it would have led to the trial that aired all of their dirty laundry. Nobody, in Cleveland or elsewhere, cares whether or not the contract tolls.

  12. Decent move if true. It hurts the Browns this year while locking in the contract. They are stuck with poor options at QB and waste another year of Chubb and Hunt.

  13. Luckily, Cleveland has Brissett who played 2 awful quarters where he got outplayed by Justin Fields and, um, it wasn’t even close. The question is: will Stefanski be gone before he even gets a chance with Deshaun. Never underestimate Browns management, especially Andrew Berry, who seems like a bottom 5 GM. They gave this guy the keys and he proceeded to drive them directly into the Ohio river.

  14. I felt DeShawn Watson should have received a one game suspension for each of the women who filed a complaint.

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