Deshaun Watson and NFL agree deal on 11 game suspension and $5m fine

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Deshaun Watson and NFL agree deal on 11 game suspension and $5m fine

Deshaun Watson and the NFL have agreed on a deal that will see the quarterback suspended for 11 games and fined $5m over sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

It is reportedly the largest fine ever handed out to an NFL player.

The Cleveland Browns star had earlier been handed a six-game suspension by an independent arbiter for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

But the league had said it wanted to suspend Watson for the whole season and had already appealed the arbiter’s decision.

Watson, who has a five-year fully-guaranteed contract worth $230m, was accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen Houston massage therapists but was never criminally charged.

Instead, he has settled 24 of 25 civil lawsuits brought against him by an attorney for the plaintiffs, Tony Buzbee.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the settlement also requires Watson to comply with a professional treatment plan.

“Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” Mr Goodell said.

“This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension.”

The 26-year-old quarterback was traded from the Houston Texans to the Browns over the offseason for a package that included three first-round picks.

In a statement on Thursday, Watson said that he was “grateful” that the “disciplinary process has ended.”

“I apologise once again for the pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decision I made,” said Watson.

The athlete had previously offered a direct apology to the women involved, before the team’s first preseason game earlier this month.

“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” he said.

“The decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back, but I want to continue to move forward and grow and learn and show that I am a true person of character and I am going to keep pushing forward.”