The light is finally visible at the end of the tunnel for Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns. After floating in proverbial limbo while waiting for his initial punishment, then falling back into it as the NFL appealed the original ruling, Watson's final league sentence is reportedly all but set in stone.
Deshaun Watson is said to be getting an 11-game suspension and a hefty $5 million fine on top of it, based off reports trickling in through various outlets. With the news being very fresh, the finer details and actual confirmation are still being verified, but Pro Football Talk reports that the official ruling is listed below:
Source says this is real. 11 games. $5M fine for Watson. https://t.co/SaMjiGlj27
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 18, 2022
Watson originally was given a six-game suspension before the NFL stepped in to appeal the decision – pushing hard for a year-long suspension. Instead, they were only able to bring it up to 11 games and increase the financial penalty after originally being spared from having to pay a fine. While $5 million is a huge fine to most pro players, it's simply a drop in the bucket for Watson, who's under contract with the Browns for north of $200 million.
One interesting wrinkle is that Deshaun Watson will be making his return against none other than the Houston Texans, who are the Browns' twelfth opponent on the calendar. That's sure to be a spicy way to make your debut after a loud trade demand snowballed into a public legal scandal. But at this point, Deshaun Watson likely just wants to take to the field as soon as possible.