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An independent arbiter suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games yesterday for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct during massage treatments by at least 24 women, allegations he has denied. 
 

Accusations first arose against Watson last March (see timeline), with dozens of women bringing civil lawsuits. Earlier this year, two grand juries opted not to pursue criminal charges against Watson, while all but one of the 24 civil suits have been settled out of court. 

The NFL had been seeking a full season suspension and has three days to appeal. Regardless, Watson will keep his five-year, $230M contract minus six game checks, and will be required to use only club-approved massage therapists in authorized venues.

The suspension comes three months after the Houston Texans traded Watson to the Browns, opting to replace their former No. 1 draft pick and four-year starting QB Baker Mayfield, who ultimately signed with the Carolina Panthers. 

See a list of players disciplined under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.