Report: NFL seeks indefinite suspension of Deshaun Watson, lasting at least one year

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A slow Saturday on the NFL calendar has picked up considerably.

With the NFL knowing that coverage of all things Deshaun Watson is unavoidable, the league steered the emergence of reports into a window where they could be less noticed.

And here we are. At 6:05 p.m. ET, the Wall Street Journal posted an item from Andrew Beaton that contains this extremely noteworthy nugget. The league “is pushing for an indefinite suspension that would last no shorter than one year for Watson.”

Watson and the NFL Players Association, which has a duty under federal law to defend Watson and all members of the union, will fight it. As PFT has reported, one of the tacks they will take is to argue that the proposed punishment does not mesh with discipline or lack thereof for multiple owners who allegedly have run afoul of the Personal Conduct Policy. Beaton’s article confirms this specific report.

By pushing for an indefinite suspension, the league would be protected against the possibility that more women will sue Watson between now and the middle of March 2023, when all relevant two-year statutes of limitations will expire — assuming that Watson ceased the practice of securing private massages through social-media after the first lawsuit was filed in March 2021.

The league’s case, per Beaton, will focus on five of the women who have sued Watson. Those cases have corroboration from text messages and other evidence. “League officials believe those allegations in particular are objectively provable and establish a clear and disturbing pattern of behavior from Watson,” Beaton writes.

Multiple reports have pegged the commencement of the hearing before Judge Sue L. Robinson for Tuesday, June 28. It’s unclear how long the process will take. An effort by the NFLPA to defend Watson based on the actions, and consequences, of owners like Daniel Snyder, Robert Kraft, and Jerry Jones will necessarily delay the process. Nevertheless, Watson has an absolute right to argue that his punishment should be commensurate with other cases.

Along the way, the NFLPA could uncover some evidence that would be of particular interest to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Reform, which is trying to get full access to the investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson regarding the Commanders and owner Daniel Snyder. It’s impossible to know whether Snyder’s punishment properly fit the misconduct without knowing the full scope of the misconduct.

49 responses to “Report: NFL seeks indefinite suspension of Deshaun Watson, lasting at least one year

  1. So, how did Schefter not get this story?

    Sounds like a wise plan for the NFL – covers them if they find out more. If NFLPA causes them grief over philandering owners – maybe everybody gets what they had coming.

  2. Yes, the NFLPA has to represent Watson, but the minimum requirement is only to ensure that the terms of the CBA are being followed. What the union is doing goes beyond that minimum, and the NFLPA is showing its true colors by aggressively defending this sexual predator.

  3. They NFLPA is legally required to provide a defense.

    It’s like when a cop on the force is fired for breaking the law and the union steps in and tries to prevent him from losing his job.

    The union is required by law to provide effective defense counsel for their members.

    Lawyers sometimes have to defend people they would rather have nothing to do with. Unfortunately that is part of the job.

  4. I guess what Kraft did was not disturbing since he got zero game suspension. NFLPA fight for equal treatment.

  5. monarch76 says:
    June 25, 2022 at 10:00 pm
    I guess what Kraft did was not disturbing since he got zero game suspension. NFLPA fight for equal treatment.

    86Rate This


    I had no idea consensual sex was “disturbing”.

    Seek help.

  6. I guess the league office can make this decision, but Dan Snyder who Congress herd not only settled a sexual harrassment case personally and had his henchmen sexually harrassing women on a daily basis and hired detectives to harrass them when they complained, gets a get out of jail free card?! Either the leagus is against sexual harrassment or it’s not!

  7. Mayfield must be laughing so hard. He should tell the Browns he will play………. For $45 million. What a change of events.

  8. How many masseuse has he had since arriving in cleveland. ? Addicts just cant go cold turkey or cold shower in this case

  9. What Kraft did was bad but not predatory. He had no way of knowing that the girls might have been trafficked. What Watson did was predatory. He should never play another down in the NFL. Don’t compare Watson to Kraft

  10. Suspending an owner? Ok so they pull their mega-yacht into Portofino and drink vino while laughing all the way to the bank.

    Most owners do that whether “suspended” or not.

  11. nodiosmio says:

    Lawyers sometimes have to defend people they would rather have nothing to do with. Unfortunately that is part of the job.


    Sorry, you’re not a lawyer. No lawyer needs to do that, they can quit.

  12. If Watson had not tried to get out of his brand new contract in Houston this never would of happened.
    You can bet upper management had him under surveillance and knew all about his massage escapades. When he wanted out the owner pulled the trigger on him.

  13. If those 5 women have produced texts from Watson and other evidence of proof, I don’t see how the NFLPA can plead that suspension down…

  14. Good. People better understand that most of us in Cleveland were perfectly happy with Baker Mayfield. And then Haslam had to be Jimmy Haslam and act out of spite to sign Watson. Nobody even wants him here. He is a stain on our jersey and our name.

  15. 3 first round picks and the most garuteed money ever later. How does Cleavland come back from this? The Texans rolled the Browns.

  16. He should be.

    As should Kraft who knowingly was getting jobbed by trafficked women.

  17. An “Indefinite” suspension would just be an attempt to make the discipline sound more serious. Gregg Williams Bountygate suspension was “indefinite” and that turned into a reinstatement in less than a year.

  18. Well it kind of had to be a substantial suspension just to save face and act like they care. Plus like others have said it covers them if more comes out.

  19. The Browns have disgraced and embarrassed the city of Cleveland by bringing DW there!

  20. Kraft paid someone for sex in a massage parlor. Maybe start by multiplying the punishment Kraft got by 24. That seems fair.

  21. only way Baker ever plays a game in Cleveland if he is on another team. The Browns have move on.
    dont forget that the NFLPA will have a say in this. like everything else some deal will be work out ..

  22. Robert Kraft got nothing for repeatedly abusing sex slaves. The best was when the cops pulled him over leaving the scene and he came back because he’s a deranged toucher.

  23. What’s the hearing on June 28 about? Since when does the NFL need to go to federal court to impose a suspension? They suspend, then the NFLPA appeals and it’s handled in arbitration, not federal court. Only goes to court once the arbitration is over which will be months away. What am I missing?

  24. leopardman says:
    June 25, 2022 at 10:23 pm
    What Kraft did was bad but not predatory. He had no way of knowing that the girls might have been trafficked. What Watson did was predatory. He should never play another down in the NFL. Don’t compare Watson to Kraft

    Kraft solicited a prostitute. Illegal in all states but Nevada. How is that not a bad thing?

  25. Say what you want about him, Goodell’s job is to create value for the owners.
    He has been incredibly successful doing this.

    This is another example of it.

    Goodell understands that the NFL coming across as strongly against abuse against women (in 2022) is much more valuable than what one high end / exciting QB can generate in revenue.

    NFL understands that it can not seem less concerned than MLB.

    This decision to me has little to do with Watson.

  26. The draft capital and cap space will make it very difficult for the Browns to recover for this ..I really don’t understand why in the current environment and with so many female fans the Browns would make such a giant risky investment..they sell out their stadium they get the tv revenue even with Baker Mayfield

  27. Fairly easy to see giving Mayfield Watson’s money for this year then letting him go via free agency. Either way the Browns are losing a ton of money.

  28. With enough season suspensions the contract is going to look better and better for the Browns because they’re only going up.

  29. To the poster saying Mayfield should play and ask for $45 million. Mayfield would get laughed right out of the room. Nothing says elite QB like 9-21 in career vs teams with a winning record. So there’s that, with a loaded offensive team around him. Yeah no one is paying that punk $45 million unless you left out over 45 years on his contract

  30. No matter the outcome, Watson needs to be disciplined for his incredibly bad judgement.I don’t know enough details to about each case to offer an opinion as to legal or civil liability…but I do know a franchise QB in the NFL should not be on Craigslist soliciting massages and having them sign NDA’s in advance. That alone is Conduct Detrimental.

    It seems wrong that with this scandal and a year’s paid vacation he is rewarded with a giant contract. A substantial punishment is warranted.

  31. Calvin Ridley got an indefinite suspension, minimum one year, for betting $1500 on games he wasn’t playing in. How the hell is sexually assaulting upwards of 25 women worth an equivalent suspension to that? The two things don’t even compare. Watson should get at least two years.

  32. We, of course, do not know IF Watson will be suspended or not. But IF Watson is suspended, that would seem to open a window for dialog between the Niners and Browns. That could be a winning scenario for all. I would like to see that happen.

  33. I just wonder what skeletons Rogers has if ever uncovered publicly or exposed. This man seems to get paid excessively, and he fails to steer this league back into its proper position — good wholesome football in all 32 corners of this league.

  34. maybe just toss him out of the league… I mean they punished Bill Clinton right… oh wait…..

  35. Ezekiel Elliott got 6 games based only on a single accusation and NO evidence. By that standard Watson should get 6 games and 25 accusations = 125 games.


  36. Good thing the Browns trashed Mayfield effectively making him untradable and un-motivated while putting all their eggs in Watson’s basket. You couldn’t have written a worse way to handle all this.

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