Cleveland Browns Title Odds Shorten Following Deshaun Watson News

Cleveland Browns Title Odds Shorten Following Deshaun Watson News
© USA Today

A six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson provided some resolve for the uncertainty that hung around the team’s season. 

The NFL had proposed suspending Watson for the entire 2022 season, but retired judge Sue L. Robinson settled on a six-game suspension after Watson was sued by 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions from 2020 into 2021.  

Robinson found Watson guilty of violating the league’s personal conduct policy by engaging in sexual assault; engaging in conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another; and engaging in conduct that undermines or risks the integrity of the league.  

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“We thank Judge Sue L. Robinson, the independent disciplinary officer, for her review of the voluminous record and attention during a three-day hearing in her finding multiple violations of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy by Deshaun Watson,” the NFL said in a statement. “We appreciate Judge Robinson’s diligence and professionalism throughout the process.” 

The league is currently reviewing whether it will pursue an appeal of the decision. NFL Commissioner Roger Godell or a league official would be responsible for the appeal. The deadline to appeal is Thursday.  

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Browns Odds 

With Watson now likely eligible to play in 2022, the Browns saw their Super Bowl odds decrease. 

Before the suspension, the Browns were +3000 to win the Super Bowl at BetMGM Sportsbook. Cleveland was also +1600 to claim the AFC and +300 to win its division. 

Now, the Browns’ future odds are +2000 for the Super Bowl, +1100 for the AFC and +225 for the AFC North. 

Watson didn’t play in any games last season as he was at odds with the team while uncertainty remained around his legal situation. 

Despite his unknown status, the Browns traded three first-round draft picks, two fourth-rounders and a third-round pick to Houston in exchange for Watson. 

Cleveland made its commitment known to Watson when it signed him to a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract.  

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Brissett Named Starting QB 

With Watson set to sit out the first six games, Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski announced Jacoby Brissett would be the team’s starter. 

Brissett has started 37 of 60 games, including two 15-game stretches in Indianapolis (2017, 2019). Last season, he started five games for Miami and completed 62% of his passes for 1,283 yards and five touchdowns to four interceptions. Brissett has a career 83 quarterback rating.  

As of now, Watson is still getting the majority of first-team reps as he acclimates to his new roster and offensive system. But Stefanski noted that will change when the team prepares for the early regular-season contests.  

"Jacoby’s our backup, we need to get him ready to play games,” Stefanski told reporters. “Obviously, Week 1 with the suspension we expect Jacoby to be in there. So, there’s a point in our practice plan where we’ll shift gears if you will. But for right now, we feel comfortable with the plan that we have." 

The Browns open the season at the Carolina Panthers before hosting the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland ends its opening six-game stretch at the Atlanta Falcons and two home games against the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots. 

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