Amid rumors that Deshaun Watson is facing a season-long suspension by the NFL, the question has to be asked: How much money does the Cleveland Browns quarterback stand to lose?
The answer is actually a pretty simple one. Not a whole lot. In fact, hardly any money by the standards of a player like him.
When the Cleveland Browns acquired Watson from the Houston Texans in that blockbuster trade in March, they gave him a new contract that effectively protects him (and them) from losing any money to a suspension. Watson receives a $45 million signing bonus, but only has a base salary of $1 million.
As a result, even if Watson misses the full season, he’ll only lose $1 million in total. For an 18-week season, that comes down to less than $60,000 per missed week.
Deshaun Watson is facing two dozen lawsuits stemming from allegations of sexual assault. Though he will not face criminal charges, he’s likely to be tied up in the courts for months or even years if he doesn’t settle them.
Meanwhile, the NFL has been investigating Watson for over a year but have yet to make a decision despite the recent reports.
The Browns clearly anticipated this and hedged their bets – and helped Watson hedge his too.
It’d be ingenious if it weren’t so cynical at the same time.