On Monday morning, an NFL disciplinary officer suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six video games after greater than two dozen ladies accused him of sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment. The league can enchantment the choice, and commissioner Roger Goodell can both hear the enchantment himself or designate an arbiter.
The NFL was pushing for an indefinite suspension of no less than one yr, and given the character of the allegations in opposition to Watson, there’s been outrage that he was banned for lower than half a season. How does Watson’s suspension evaluate to other latest NFL disciplines?
How does Deshaun Watson’s suspension evaluate to others?
After a 16-month saga wherein Watson confronted quite a few lawsuits (the vast majority of which he has now settled), many anticipated the Browns quarterback to face extra extreme punishment. But whereas Judge Sue L. Robinson decided Watson’s “pattern of behavior was egregious,” his sexual conduct was “nonviolent” in nature.
Additionally, Watson received’t be fined as a part of his suspension. Cleveland structured his contract in order that he’ll only miss out on $345K as a result of his ban, and Watson was paid his full wage in 2021 whereas on the commissioner’s exempt checklist.
How has the NFL handled other severe off-field points not too long ago? Let’s check out a number of examples.
In July 2009, a Nevada lodge worker filed a civil swimsuit in opposition to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger alleging that he sexually assaulted her in June 2008. Criminal fees had been by no means filed within the case, however Roethlisberger did later settle in 2011.
In March 2010, Roethlisberger was investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting a lady inside a Georgia nightclub. The lady claimed Roethlisberger raped her, however once more, no fees had been filed.
Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for the primary six video games of the 2010 marketing campaign for violating the NFL’s private conduct coverage. The ban was later decreased to 4 video games.
Baltimore Ravens working again Ray Rice was suspended for the primary two video games of the 2014 season after TMZ posted a video of him dragging his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of an Atlantic City elevator. In September 2014, an extended video that confirmed Rice knocking Palmer unconscious was launched, and the Ravens instantly launched him.
Goodell later admitted that he “didn’t get it right” concerning Rice’s punishment, and the muted suspension in the end led to the NFL imposing stiffer bans for later home violence incidents. Meanwhile, Rice later filed a declare to recoup the $3.5 million he misplaced because of his launch and reportedly received again most of what he was looking for.
In May 2014, Carolina Panthers defensive finish Greg Hardy was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Hardy allegedly grabbed her, strangled her, and threatened to kill her. In July, a choose discovered Hardy responsible and sentenced him to 18 months probation and a suspended 60-day jail sentence. Hardy appealed the choice, and fees had been dropped when the sufferer failed to present up in courtroom.
Carolina initially indicated it was comfy with Hardy enjoying in 2014, however in September, the membership deactivated him. He spent your entire season on the exempt checklist, and Goodell then suspended him for 10 video games in April 2015. An arbiter subsequently decreased the ban to simply 4 video games.
Atlanta Falcons extensive receiver Calvin Ridley is presently suspended indefinitely — and no less than for your entire 2022 season — after he was discovered to have gambled on the NFL through the 2021 marketing campaign. Ridley admitted that he wagered $1,500 in whole on parlay bets that included the Falcons profitable.
Ridley had been on the non-football damage checklist coping with his psychological well being when he positioned the bets. He can apply for reinstatement on Feb. 15, 2023.
After being suspended for unlawful hits at other factors in his profession, then-Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict acquired a 12-game ban in 2019 after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight finish Jack Doyle.
Burfict later appealed the suspension, but it surely was upheld. His ban was the longest for on-field misconduct within the fashionable historical past of the NFL, and he has not performed since.
Just this previous offseason, Arizona Cardinals extensive receiver DeAndre Hopkins was handed a six-game suspension after testing constructive for a performance-enhancing drug. Hopkins was banned for having the drug Ostarine in his system. As of June, Hopkins was nonetheless contemplating his choices.
“We’re still doing some research right now,” Hopkins mentioned, per 12News in Arizona. “Hopefully, before the season starts, maybe we can get the games down a little bit. But no, it wasn’t on me. I’m a natural. I’m pretty much a naturopathic kind of person, man. And what it was, it was called Ostarine, and there was 0.1% of it found in my system. If you know what that is, it’s contamination, not something directly taken.”
Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant, and Darren Waller
Based on the punishment they’ve levied, the NFL has come down a lot more durable on substance abuse than on sexual assault. For occasion, Josh Gordon has been suspended six occasions by the NFL for marijuana and other substance use, and he’s solely performed in 40 of a attainable 113 video games since 2015.
Meanwhile, Martavis Bryant was banned for your entire 2016 season for a number of violations earlier than being suspended indefinitely in 2018. He’s since performed within the Canadian Football League however has by no means made it again to the NFL.
Now-Raiders tight finish Darren Waller was suspended for 16 video games as a member of the Ravens between 2015 and 2016. Thankfully, he’s overcome substance abuse to change into probably the greatest TEs within the NFL.