NFL teams take issue with Deshaun Watson’s ‘rigged’ contract: report


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With Deshaun Watson’s 2022 season hanging in the balance The NFL will appeal his six-game suspensionThe league’s other 31 teams are reportedly unhappy with the Cleveland Browns over a “tailored” contract that would see some financial fallout from the league’s disciplinary action.

Watson signed a record-breaking five-year, $230 million contract in March. The deal gave him $8.9 million in signing bonuses but a base salary of just over $1 million through the 2022 season — seemingly Anticipation of suspension. That figure will jump to $46 million next season.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, participates in drills during the NFL football team's training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, participates in drills during the NFL football team’s training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Nick Camet)

Without a successful appeal, Watson will lose about $345,000 of his salary — roughly $57,500 per game check.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski says the team is preparing for different scenarios at quarterback.

However, according to one report the general consensus around the league is dismay.

“An influential NFL figure said the league or the 31 other owners on this trip didn’t suit the Browns by structuring Watson’s contract so that his suspension would forfeit only a portion of his 2022 compensation.” Peter King of NBC Sports reported this week.

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns rests after a drill during Cleveland Browns training camp at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on July 30, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns rests after a drill during Cleveland Browns training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on July 30, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.
(Nick Camet/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Browns general manager Andrew Berry He defended the “optics” of Watson’s deal in his introductory press conference in March, saying it was “very similar to the big player contracts we already have on the books.”

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“We understand the optics of it. I think for us after us Got comfortable with Deshaun, the deal was really a football decision. “The important thing for us from a club perspective is to sign Deshaun for another year and structure it in a way that allows us maximum flexibility to execute the rest of our offseason plan,” he told reporters.

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, speaks with general manager Andrew Berry, left, and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, speaks with general manager Andrew Berry, left, and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a news conference at the team’s NFL football training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Ron Tshwane)

“I think maybe another one to mention is that the structure is similar to the big player contracts we already have on the books.”

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Last week, former federal judge and independent disciplinary official Sue L. Robinson found that Watson had violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy but concluded that he would be given a six-game suspension without penalty because of the league’s previous rulings. His reputation preceded two dozen accusations of sexual assault.

The NFL has Appealed the judgment and appointed former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey to hear the case. The NFLPA filed a brief response to the petition on Friday.



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