Deshaun Watson has a pretty strong financial incentive to reach an agreement with the NFL to avoid being suspended for a year.
According to former NFL executive Andrew Brandt, Watson’s contract makes it so that a one-year suspension will seriously affect his earnings. In particular, disqualification for a whole year will affect his contract, and in 2023 he will receive a salary of only $ 1 million.
“It is financially necessary for Watson to avoid disqualification for a year,” Brandt wrote. “If he is suspended for a year, his contract will decrease: 2022 will become 2023 and so on. He will keep his $45 million bonus this year, but will receive a $1 million salary next year, so he will earn $46 million in two years, not one year.”
In other words, suspension from work for a whole year will cost Deshaun Watson $45 million in lost wages. This seems like a strong incentive to avoid being disqualified for the entire season.
It may also explain why ProFootballTalk is reporting today that Watson may be eyeing an agreement with the NFL.
The mediator gave Deshaun Watson a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy stemming from dozens of sexual harassment allegations against him.
But it is unlikely that the NFL could accept such a small punishment — it would be too much of a PR nightmare.
As a result, the NFL turns to another referee to get a decision that is closer to what they want. The NFL is reportedly seeking a suspension for the entire season or more.
What will be the final punishment for Deshaun Watson?