New Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been one of the main storylines of the entire 2022 NFL offseason. He was acquired via trade with the Houston Texans in one of the biggest blockbusters of all time.
He also received the most guaranteed money on any contract in NFL history when he signed a brand new deal with the Browns.
Now, It has been reported by broadcaster and writer Nick Pedone that Watson's legal team thinks that the league may be suspend him for the entire 2022 NFL season.
When the Browns acquired Watson, they were well aware that he would come with a serious legal situation, with an unknown solution. Watson had sat out the entire 2021 NFL season while dealing with legal accusations.
Despite being dismissed on all criminal charges for allegations of sexual misconduct, he still faces 24 active civil suits related to the exact same case.
The way the NFL handles legal situations with its players, they don't need to be found guilty in a court of law to receive disciplinary action. Being accused of such things that Watson is dealing with can certainly be enough for the league to issue a suspension due to violations of their personal conduct policy.
The NFL has conducted their own investigation into the situation, as they usually do, and will bring their findings to Sue L Robinson, the disciplinary officer appointed jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA.
While the NFL has not confirmed the exact penalty they are seeking, the Cleveland Browns must officially begin preparing for a potential season without Deshaun Watson.
It appears that a suspension is pretty much guaranteed at this point and they are just waiting to find out the specific length and when it will be enforced. It's not really a matter of if, but more a question of when.
Who will replace Deshaun Watson at QB for the Browns?
While Deshaun Watson is likely to be suspended, the Cleveland Browns currently have two options on their roster to potentially replace him. They signed Jacoby Brissett during the 2022 NFL offseason to provide depth in case of a suspension, so he will likely be asked to fill in during Watson's absence.
Their other current option is to return to Baker Mayfield, who is still on the roster despite seeking to be traded. While it's unlikely that the Browns will choose this route, and it's unclear if Mayfield would be interested anyway, it's an option.