It’s a good Monday for Cleveland sports fans now that word has broken that Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will only serve a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct. Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a retired judge, announced her recommendation on Monday, according to multiple media outlets, including NFL.com.
What does this all mean for the Browns and Watson, who was traded in March from Houston to Cleveland and promptly signed a five-year, $230 million contract? Whereas the possibility of a much longer suspension previously loomed, the Browns and head coach Kevin Stefanski now know that they’ll have Watson behind center when Cleveland hits the road to face AFC North rival Baltimore in Game 7.
As for Watson’s home debut, that will come on Halloween in a Monday Night Football game against intrastate rival, divisional foe, and defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Making a midseason debut
Watson, considered one of the top young QBs before all of his recent off-the-field troubles sidelined him last season in Houston, figures to give Cleveland its best chance in years to be a serious Super Bowl contender.
PointsBet has odds of +2000 on the Browns, Bengals, Baltimore, and Dallas to win Super Bowl LVII, while BetMGM also shows odds of +2000 on the Browns, Bengals, and Ravens claiming the NFL title. Caesars Sportsbook is also offering odds of +2000 on the Browns, Bengals, and Dallas to win the Super Bowl, heading into a season in which most think Buffalo is the frontrunner.
Deshaun Watson will serve a six game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual misconduct, disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson ruled Monday, a source told Adam Schefter. https://t.co/1x3cpIOLT0 pic.twitter.com/n1WW6JXIe2
— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2022
FanDuel has odds of +2200 on Cleveland and Indianapolis winning it all, while DraftKings post odds of +2500 on the Browns claiming the Super Bowl title, which would be their first in franchise history.
DraftKings is also offering odds of +1200 on the Browns and the Colts to end up as AFC champions. The Bills are +300 at DraftKings to win the AFC, while drawing odds of +600 to win the Super Bowl.
Watson a longshot to win MVP
Watson, who passed for nearly 15,000 yards during the four seasons in which he took the field for Houston, is considered a longshot to win top individual honors.
DraftKings has odds of +4000 on the Browns QB being named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, while FanDuel has significantly longer odds of +6000 on Watson claiming the same award. DraftKings is also offering odds of +6000 on Watson being named the league’s offensive player of the year.
Watson, who has passed for 104 touchdowns with only 36 interceptions during his NFL career, will have an opportunity to play in 11 regular season games. DraftKings has an over/under of 2,850.5 regular-season passing yards (-110) for Watson.
Caesars has odds of +2500 on Watson to lead the league in passing touchdowns, with Tampa’s Tom Brady the favorite (+500 at Caesars) to top the NFL in that category.
Photo: Ken Blaze/USA Today