On Deshaun Watson, the clock keeps ticking more and more loudly for the NFL

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Getty Images

Last month, Deshaun Watson‘s lawyer said they expect to hear something from the NFL in June. As of tomorrow, June is already halfway over. And there’s no indication that the league is ready to do anything.

Then again, there rarely is any such indication of what the league will do, until the league does it. If the league will be trying to suspend Watson without pay to start the 2022 season, time is of the essence.

Remember, it’s a three-step process. First, the league office proposes discipline. Second, the Disciplinary Office (retired judge Sue L. Robinson) evaluates the case, conducts a hearing (if she deems it necessary), and makes a decision. Third, unless Judge Robinson decides to impose no discipline at all (which would end the process), the Commissioner handles the appeal. His decision is final.

It will take time for the second and third steps. At the latest, it needs to be resolved before Week One. Ideally, the Browns will have an answer before the start of training camp. (Then again, the Browns can’t complain about the current uncertainty; they made this bed.)

With two more lawsuits to be filed, pushing the total to 26, and with no indication as to what the final tally will be, it’s making more and more sense for the NFL to press pause on Watson’s career via paid leave, letting him focus on putting these 26 cases (and counting) behind him for good.

There’s a big difference between an unpaid suspension and paid leave. For the former, Judge Robinson is involved. For the latter, the Commissioner makes the call exclusively. If the league becomes intent on sidelining Watson until the litigation has ended, paid leave provides the path of least resistance.

At this point, how can the league not be at least thinking about keeping Watson off the field until the cases end? If the league isn’t already at that point, how many more cases will it take to get the league to that point?

29 responses to “On Deshaun Watson, the clock keeps ticking more and more loudly for the NFL

  1. I’m sure Goodell will announce a short suspension at 5pm on a slow Friday and hope that it blows over. Obviously it won’t.

  2. If Watson doesn’t miss significant time the NFL will not have any basis for future suspensions. The Browns are the ones that made the guaranteed mistake.

  3. At this point why don’t we contact the lawyer for the plaintiffs to see if we can file a lawsuit. Seems like a free for all to me…..this case has been going on for about two years and these lawsuits are just coming to light? Something just is not right here…

  4. The down side of “paid leave” is the perception that he is being paid for his mistakes. But due to the structure of Watson’s contract, only $1M of the $230M is 2022 salary. So not a big issue for me.

  5. Whatever the league decides, at this point it’s looking like things won’t end well for Watson.

  6. This is a huge distraction for the league. I expect nothing less than a suspension or a $500,000 fine for Watson after how they treated Del Rio for speaking his mind.

  7. I’m really hoping that Roger is bold enough to do nothing; just to show you he owns you. Just to see all the social justice warriors react and see what they’d do. My guess is they’d do nothing, all talk and no walk, and by week two this would all blow over for the NFL. When push comes to shove, all the big talkers (how could the Browns do this!? blah, blah, blah) will do their fantasy drafts, get their chips and beer and blindly kneel to the alter of Roger Goodell and the NFL (yet they complain about Kaepernick kneeling). And Roger knows this.

  8. NFLPA? Surely they are negotiating, secretly, to minimize the discipline against Watson.

  9. LOL…Remember when the Brown’s said they wanted an “Adult” at QB. That was funny.

  10. Grand jury laughed off these cases. Civil court will do the same and threw these out in record time.

  11. pioniere says:
    June 14, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Whatever the league decides, at this point it’s looking like things won’t end well for Watson.
    Watson has a guaranteed contract for $230 million, how will it not end well? The cases against him are civil, not criminal. So he isn’t facing any jail time. The worst case scenario is that Watson has to pay some money & miss playing time, that’s it. Why are people over blowing this? The Browns have an issue but not Watson.

  12. tick tick tick till my hero Deshaun Watson is set free and lead the Browns to the super bowl! Ja Morant griddy

  13. The season started yet thus there is no pressure for the NFL to take any action.
    Instead they should wait until more information comes in.
    Then put Watson on the exempt list and spend a lot of time doing their own investigation.
    This is in the public spotlight and needs to be handled correctly and not screwed up like past it events.
    Once they have all the facts and have done their investigation which probably will take the number of months issue a punishment in 2023.

    What the NFL should avoid this issuing some lightheaded punishment only to have more damning evidence come out.

    Just put Watson on the exempt list once the season starts and then issue a punishment in 2023

  14. Anything short of a two year suspension and the nfl (small case intentional) loses all credibility and the ability to justify any suspensions in the future. Lifetime ban would be justified. This guy has some serious societal issues! Any fan that shows up to support him should turn in their decent human being card!

  15. Why does the league have to do anything at all? They didn’t do anything last year. Why can’t they just wait until it’s all played out in court? Or, at least wait until preseason or even September. The Browns aren’t owed any advance notice. They took the risk, not the league. If they suspend him for say 6 games, he’ll still be facing 26 lawsuits because they won’t be resolved by then. Then what, do they suspend him again if he loses or if more bad stuff comes out? I say do nothing until it’s resolved. Tough crap, Cleveland.

  16. Still in awe of people who want to ruin him when he hasn’t been found guilty of anything and even a grad jury said no. If there’s proof and he’s found guilty in any level he must pay. Til then I’m thinking there was a lot of bad judgement on both sides.

  17. Blind Browns fans out in force. I can’t help but be disgusted by anyone who at this point thinks he has done nothing. And only a blind fan with zero respect for women and zero character themselves would put football above what he is accused of. They need to put him on leave this year since the Browns tried to cheat the system with his 1 million salary this year. Then suspend him next year so he loses that 50 Million.

  18. No way this kid sees the field this year. Probably won’t see it next year either. Baker isn’t going to play for them after they took a dump on him like they did. Browns fans deserve better than this.

  19. He does not deserve a paid vacation. NFL is justified in imposing an unpaid suspension pending the outcomes. They can pay back the lost wages if he clears his name of any and all wrong-doing (lol). Yet somehow there seems to be more sympathy and less moral outrage over Watson’s mounting and deeply serious allegations than there is over Del Rio’s remarks the other day. Go figure.

  20. Cleveland pays him, he doesn’t play, and the Texans still have the draft choices. A 10 year old could manage a team better.

  21. still want to know where the NFLPA was in this thing? If the guy was innocent, as he claims, why didn’t they go after the Texans for not playing him last season?

  22. 47% of NFL fans are women. I can’t be the only one who is done spending a nickel on this league.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.