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Deshaun Watson Suspension and What It Means For The Cleveland Browns in 2022 NFL Season
So unless an appeal happens and is successful (highly unlikely), it looks like embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss the first six games of the upcoming NFL season, according to an ESPN report.
Some pundits expected a harsher penalty but we’ll leave it to ESPN’s Jake Trotter to give you the gist and then I’ll explain what it means gambling-wise for the Browns – which as a franchise, obviously, took a huge gamble – oh, dear, did they ever – on Watson in the first place.
“More than two years after the first civil lawsuit was filed against Deshaun Watson, disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson has suspended the Cleveland Browns quarterback for the first six games of the 2022 season, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Robinson, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association to rule on the case and administer any punishment, listened to arguments from the league, the union and Watson's attorney during a three-day hearing held in her home state of Delaware in late June. The NFL had been pushing for a suspension of at least a year, while the union and Watson's attorney argued that the quarterback should not be suspended at all. The sides discussed a potential settlement all the way up through the hearing, but they could not agree to a deal.
In the days leading up to Robinson's decision, the league and Watson's side engaged in further settlement talks, sources told ESPN's Dan Graziano, but neither side ever felt they were close to an agreement. The most Watson's side indicated it was willing to offer was a suspension in the range of six to eight games, according to sources. The best the league indicated it was willing to offer was a 12-game suspension and a significant fine -- in the range of $8 million, sources said. While the NFLPA said it will not appeal the decision, the league still has the right to appeal.”
It’s gonna be six games. Period. End of that. And if that’s not appealing to you, I get it.
It’s just the way the NFL rolls.
Cleveland execs were expecting this – hoping for a suspension of four to six games, rather than an entire season – so the Browns must be relieved … until they realize Jacoby Brissett (should be “sit”, as in, on the bench) is their starting quarterback for weeks 1 through 6.
OK, so let’s look at what Cleveland’s got and what the Browns will do for you, as a savvy bettor. Spoiler alert: They’re not winning 10 games. The over/under on that, via DraftKings, a site that will match your first deposit up to $2,000 for free, is 9.5 (-125).
Cleveland winning 10 games? Um, no. Talented as they may be, and they have a helluva defense led by Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and Anthony Walker Jr., even with the dynamic running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, this offense will struggle.
The good news is the first four games all look winnable, although I do think that Baker Mayfield becomes the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers and has a lights-out game in the opener against his old team, Cleveland. Should be fun.
But then the Browns host the Jets (win), the Steelers (once mighty, but no longer; win) and face the Falcons on the road (win). That would make them 3-1.
However, here comes the tough stretch: Home games against the Chargers and Patriots, followed by a road game at Baltimore, then the Bengals at home, at Miami (the Dolphins are dangerous), at Buffalo and vs. Tom Brady’s Bucs at home the following Sunday.
The December-January slate looks a little easier with a road game against the Texans (wins four or five), at Cincinnati (loss), then home games against the Ravens and Saints (so let’s say wins six and seven) and then finishing the regular season with road games at Washington and Pittsburgh (I’ll say wins on both of those, but that still only gets them to nine).
In closing, the best the Browns are going to do this season is win nine games, possibly eight.