(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
After weeks of an internal investigation of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s off-the-field legal matters, the NFL levied a six-game suspension to begin the 2022 season.
Following the announcement, former Browns and current Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield was asked about the situation. Mayfield chose to bypass talking about the matter, voicing that it’s nothing that he believes he should express any opinion toward.
“Honestly, it’s none of my business,” the often-outspoken Mayfield said of the Watson suspension that didn’t include a fine via ESPN. “I don’t play against the other quarterback. I know it’s the most cliché thing to say, but that’s just the truth.”
Although Mayfield chose not to talk about Watson’s suspension, the length of the punishment was a bit surprising. There was a growing expectation that the Pro Bowler would be held out for the entire 2022 season or possibly longer.
Instead, he received only a six-game ban, allowing him to play more than half the upcoming regular season. Watson’s suspension is shorter than Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s punishment as he received a suspension for the entire 2021 season for betting on an NFL game.
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The NFL’s ruling will continue to be questioned and add to the growing list of concerns about their involvement in legal matters. Watson’s situation was a sticky matter that involved 25 civil lawsuits that alleged sexual misconduct.
The NFL and Watson will now move forward with a punishment levied, but it will remain a lingering topic ahead of the 2022 season.