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How does Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson's 11-game suspension compare with other NFL personal conduct policy punishments?

Watson and the NFL agreed to an 11-game suspension and a fine of $5 million for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Credit: Ron Schwane/AP
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson takes part in drills during the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

CLEVELAND — On Thursday, the NFL reached a settlement with Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and the players union on an 11-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The suspension for Watson comes after a lengthy investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made against the three-time Pro Bowler by multiple women. Last month, former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson issued a six-game suspension for Watson, which was appealed by the NFL.  

The Associated Press has compiled a list of some notable player suspensions under the NFL’s personal conduct policy:

2022 — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games and fined $5 million (accusations of sexual harassment and assault while playing for the Houston Texans).

2021 — Running back Derrius Guice suspended six games (domestic violence).

2020 — Wide receiver Antonio Brown suspended eight games (multiple violations of personal conduct policy).

2019 — Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt suspended eight games (assault caught on video).

2019 — Seattle defensive lineman Jarran Reed suspended six games (assault accusation).

2019 — Raiders guard Richie Incognito suspended two games (disorderly conduct).

2018 — Seattle linebacker Mychal Kendricks suspended eight games (insider trading).

2018 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston suspended three games (accused of touching a female Uber driver inappropriately in 2016).

2018 — Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith suspended four games (domestic violence).

2017 — Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott suspended six games (domestic violence).

2017 — Kicker Josh Brown suspended six games (domestic violence).

2017 — Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones suspended one game (assault). Jones was suspended six games in 2008 and for one season in 2007 (multiple violations of personal conduct policy).

2015 — Cowboys defensive Greg Hardy suspended 10 games (domestic violence). Arbitrator Harold Henderson later reduced suspension to four games.

2014 — Baltimore running back Ray Rice suspended indefinitely (domestic violence).

2014 — Defensive lineman Aldon Smith suspended nine games (violations of personal conduct policy and substance abuse policy). Also suspended in 2015 (violations of the league’s substance abuse policy). Reinstated in 2020.

2014 — Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suspended indefinitely (child abuse case). Reinstated in 2015.

2010 — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suspended six games (accusation of sexual assault by two women). Suspension later reduced to four games by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

2008 — Vikings offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie suspended four games (arrested on aggravated battery charges after a street brawl outside a nightclub).

2007 — Falcons quarterback Michael Vick suspended indefinitely (dogfighting). Reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2009.

2007 — Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson suspended eight games (gun charge).

2007 — Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry suspended eight games (multiple violations of personal conduct policy).

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