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Browns Owner Sends Clear Message About Deshaun Watson Appeal

Deshaun Watson introduced as Browns quarterback.

BEREA, OHIO - MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns listens to questions during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The NFL has appealed a six-game suspension issued to Deshaun Watson by Judge Sue L. Robinson. Commissioner Roger Goodell has assigned former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey to oversee the appeal.

Having argued for a lengthier suspension during Watson's disciplinary hearing, the NFL will hope the Cleveland Browns quarterback receives a longer punishment this time around.

Per Mark Maske of The Washington Post, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said the team will continue to let the legal situation unfold and abide by the final decision.

"I'll just say we'll respect and honor the process," Haslam said.

Following Watson's six-game suspension, the Browns released a statement on behalf of Haslam and his wife and co-owner, Dee Haslam. They said they respected Robinson's decision and "will continue to support" Watson.

The Haslam family has already supported Watson by giving him a nearly $45 million signing bonus. That means he's at risk of losing no more than his $690,00 base salary for the 2022 season if suspended. A full-season ban would extend his contract an extra year through 2027.

Watson has settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and harassment during massage therapy sessions. Robinson determined he engaged in "non-violent sexual assault," though many have since argued that there should be no such categorization of sexual assault.

The Haslams probably hoped Robinson's ruling marked the end of the legal process, but they signed up for this situation when acquiring Watson from the Houston Texans and giving him a record-setting contract.