Deshaun Watson stands to lose $345K in salary with six-game suspension

Monday brought Judge Sue L. Robinson’s long-awaited ruling on discipline for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Robinson ruled that Watson should be banned for six games and did not issue a fine. While he won’t be fined, Watson would forfeit his salary for his absence, but the structure of the deal he signed after being acquired by the Browns this year makes that a minimal hit.

Watson’s base salary for the 2022 season is $1.035 million, which is broken up into 18 weekly payments of $57,500. That means he’ll forfeit $345,000 if the suspension is not changed following an appeal by either side.

Before the trade to the Browns, Watson’s contract called for him to make a $35 million salary in 2022. A six-game suspension under those terms would have cost him $11.6 million.

Watson’s $44.965 million signing bonus is not impacted by the suspension and he has fully guaranteed salaries of $46 million for each of the next four seasons, so the financial blow dealt by the suspension will be a minimal one if Robinson’s decision holds.