There are a lot of reasons that a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson would be problematic for both the team and the player. The Browns gave up a huge haul in the trade to acquire the quarterback despite knowing the serious allegations against Watson.
The team seems to be acting confident in QB Jacoby Brissett to take over as the starter in case of a Watson suspension but a year of Brissett could waste a year of Cleveland's talented core.
The one benefit to full season suspension is the massive amount of salary cap space Andrew Berry would have to work with in 2023. A small positive if that very negative result would happen.
Another small detail that could be major is the timing of a year's suspension. If Judge Sue Robinson, or the NFL after an appeal, concludes with a season-long suspension, Watson will be immediately away from the team and miss training camp this year. Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley, for example, was suspended indefinitely earlier this offseason and won't be eligible to return to the team until after the end of the 2022 season.
Robinson or the league could create an allowance for him to practice in camp given the extenuating circumstances but that does not seem likely.
If Watson is suspended but less than a full season, he'll be eligible to participate in training camp this year before serving his suspension. After not playing all of last season, beginning in training camp, it will be vital that the star quarterback gets as many snaps in camp and preseason games as possible.
While reports following the completion of his hearings seem to favor Watson, fans must prepare for the worst-case scenario. A year suspension will have multiple ripple effects including keeping Watson off the field for training camp this year.