Deshaun Watson Got Paid $10.54 Million in 2021 Despite Allegations

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has faced heavy scrutiny for his sexual misconduct allegations. Did the NFL player get paid in 2021?

Ade Hennis - Author

Aug. 1 2022, Published 12:51 p.m. ET

Deshaun Watson
Source: Getty Images

NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson received a decision on the duration of his suspension for the 2022 NFL season. He’ll lose some money for this upcoming season, but did Watson get paid in 2021?

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After facing 25 lawsuits earlier this year involving sexual misconduct, it was expected that Watson would receive a hefty suspension from the NFL. However, Monday’s ruling caught many sports enthusiasts off-guard.

Source: Getty Images
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Did Deshaun Watson get paid in 2021?

Deshaun was paid the entire salary that was owed to him for the 2021–2022 NFL season. The Browns QB was paid $10.54 million, according to Spotrac. That season’s salary was part of a four-year, $156 million contract extension that the Texans agreed to pay him after his third season in the NFL. The Georgia native actually earned more in his fourth season than the fifth one, as his base salary for the 2020 season was $1,177,123, but he earned a $27 million signing bonus because of the contract extension.

How much is Deshaun Watson getting paid in 2022?

Because Watson was traded to Cleveland, his $156 million contract with Houston was able to be terminated, and he received a new contract with the Browns. The trade came as a surprise to many because of his pending civil cases, the potential negative media attention that he could attract, the likelihood that he would be suspended for the 2022 season, and the significant contract he would need to be paid.

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Watson’s new contract is much more substantial than the one he had with the Texans. He signed a five-year deal worth $230 million. For the 2022 season, he’ll earn a base salary of $690,000, but received a signing bonus of $44,965,000 upon signing the deal with Cleveland. So, he’ll be paid $45,655,000 for this upcoming NFL season.

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How long is Deshaun Watson suspended for?

The star QB would have earned a base salary of $1.035 million this season, but former federal judge Sue L. Robinson ruled on Monday that Watson will be suspended for six games. The six-game suspension will result in Watson losing $345,000 in salary. While the ruling has been deemed by many as very light, Robinson reportedly stated that Watson’s “pattern of behavior was egregious,” but his behavior “nonviolent sexual conduct.”

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Earlier this year, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was also suspended for six games in 2022. He received a suspension for violating the league's PED policy. Last month, Hopkins reportedly claimed that he has never taken PEDs before. Only 0.1 percent of the banned substance was found in his body, which can happen when taking legal health supplements. Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for placing bets on his team during the season.

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How much did Deshaun Watson have to pay for lawsuits?

There were originally 25 lawsuits filed against the Browns player since March 2021, but one woman dropped her case so that she could retain her privacy. Watson settled with 20 of the remaining 24 women on June 22, according to Sports Illustrated. Then right before Judge Robinson's decision, he settled with three more women, which left only one woman remaining to settle with.

The details of the settlements were disclosed privately, but in June, Watson was allegedly offering $100,000 to each woman to settle. If the 25 women were hypothetically paid that amount, that would equate to $2.5 million.


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