Under the terms of a settlement reached between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will be back on the field Thanksgiving weekend, against his old team the Houston Texans, RadarOnline.com has learned.
"Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine and a more substantial suspension.”
“We are grateful to Judge Robinson and Peter Harvey for their efforts in addressing these matters, which laid the foundation for reaching this conclusion."
A previous suspension of six games was announced by a league official, before being appealed by the NFL. Today's settlement was reached ahead of what would have been a ruling on that appeal by New Jersey attorney general Harvey, who was chosen by Goodell to hear the appeal.
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Alongside Watson's fine, the NFL and the Browns will each contribute $1 million to the overall fund designed to support the prevention of sexual misconduct and assault. "This fund will support the work of non-profit organizations across the country that educate young people on healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes," the league stated.
Said Watson: "I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I'm away from the team. I'm excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland."
Added Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam: "Now that a decision on discipline has been reached, we understand this is a real opportunity to create meaningful change and we are committed to investing in programs in Northeast Ohio that will educate our youth regarding awareness, understanding, and most importantly, prevention of sexual misconduct and the many underlying causes of such behavior.”