The 2022 NFL season could get off to a rocky start.
One of the top players in the league is in limbo.
But an NFL star caught up in one sex scandal might get an eye-opening punishment.
The saga of star quarterback Deshaun Watson is winding down.
Watson had his career thrown into jeopardy when he was accused of sexual misconduct with two dozen masseuses he had messaged via Instagram.
The allegations surfaced shortly after Watson requested a trade from the Houston Texans.
With the criminal charges looming, Watson did not play at all in 2021-22.
When the grand jury chose not to indict Watson, that cleared the way for him to be traded to the Cleveland Browns, who signed him to a $230 million contract.
However, Watson still faces punishment from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
There were early reports that Watson could miss the entire 2022-23 season due to the allegations, but Watson could only miss as little as two games.
From Pro Football Talk:
“If the reasonably expected range of punishment for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson does indeed fall in the range of two to eight games, the team that employs him currently is expecting the higher end of things. Per a league source, the Browns privately are bracing for an eight-game suspension of Watson. That obviously doesn’t mean anything as to the eventual outcome. It only means that the team has come to the subjective conclusion, one it would never admit publicly, that it expects to not have Watson for eight of 17 games in 2022.”
Even though the Browns appear to be bracing for eight games, two is still on the table.
After all, Watson was not charged with any crimes.
But the NFL has cracked down on players accused of sexual impropriety and domestic violence because of the ugly Ray Rice incident.
The former running back got a slap on the wrist after a fight with his girlfriend, then surveillance footage surfaced showing him savagely beating her up in a public elevator.
The backlash caused the NFL to suspend players based on allegations in future instances.
Pro Football Talk continued:
“There’s apparently some chatter about the possibility of the Browns adding Cam Newton, in the event that Watson isn’t available for the full season. Would Newton be an option for half of the season? Would he be the backup to [Jacoby] Brissett or the starter? There are plenty of questions that will need to be answered regarding the Browns’ plans for playing without Watson. The first answer that needs to arrive will be the specific number of games, if any, that he’ll miss.”
Cleveland’s plans remain in flux as Watson anxiously awaits his punishment.
The Browns have one of the best rosters in the league, so their Super Bowl odds hinge on how many games the NFL decides to suspend Watson for.