No wonder the NFLPA made that statement on Sunday night, asking the NFL not to engage in appealing Deshan Watson’s suspension.
Six games for Cleveland Browns quarterback Watson should be seen as the best position for Watson and the team. It seemed that during the off-season, Watson might miss most or the entire season. The NFL was reportedly pushing for a full year suspension. This is why Brown’s AFC North odds shifted to BetMGM. The Browns opened the off-season as the favorite to win the division, but fell to third behind the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals as Watson’s position was untenable.
Much will be said about the duration of the suspension and what it looks like for the league – Watson’s suspension will often be compared to that of Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley, who received a one-year suspension for certain bets on NFL games. Which was a bit high overall. Over $1,000 – but in a strictly football sense it’s a win for the Browns. You can see this in the odds of betting.
The Browns were 30-to-1 to win the Super Bowl on Sunday at BetMGM. On Monday, those odds were shifted to 20-to-1, with news that Watson would be available for the final 11 games of the season. His chances of winning the AFC increased from 16-to-1 to 11-to-1.
Clearly Brown’s prospects in the big 2022 season just got better with news of Light Watson’s suspension, and the odds reflect that.
Deshan Watson should return in week 7
There was no immediate news if NFL Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson would appeal the decision. Let’s assume for now that the suspension hinges on six games. Here are the games Watson will remember if so:
Week 1, in Carolina
Week 2, vs. New York Jets
Week 3 vs Pittsburgh
Week 4, in Atlanta
Week 5, vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 6, vs New England
Watson will be eligible to return to Baltimore in Week 7. He would play in all four matches against the Bengals and the Ravens, two teams that were listed ahead of the Browns in the AFC North odds.
Brown has said that he will go with Jacobi Brissette as quarterback when Watson is out. Late last week he was listed as a 1.5-point favorite on the Panthers in Week 1. The Jets and Falcons have the lowest win totals on the board for the season, and the Steelers are projected to be a sub-.500 team. Who wins overall. A 3-3 start for Brown while Watson is suspended is possible. They can also emerge with a winning record after those six matches.
The biggest question after the suspension could be Watson himself.
Deshan Watson of the Cleveland Browns was given a six-game suspension. (Photo by Nick Camett/Getty Images)
Brown’s prospects turn after news
Between his trade request and off-field issues, Watson did not play for the Houston Texans in 2021 at all. He will not play until 23 October this year (again, assuming the six-game suspension remains in place). That’s a long time between playing NFL games.
Watson is also getting used to his new teammates and plan and will join the Browns by about a third of the season. It’s also difficult.
Watson is a top-end quarterback and should return to that level, but we also don’t know how his intense attention to off-field issues and all of that time will affect him. Maybe it won’t have any effect on him. But it’s a question that’s heading towards the season.
Mostly, Monday’s news brings clarity to the Browns about what their season will look like. He has a fairly mild six-game stretch to start the season, then he gets one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in the lineup.
Most of Brown’s future prospects were off board for the off-season as Watson’s position was sluggish. At least for the Super Bowl odds, which stayed up, the outlook for the Browns after the suspension news is much better.