In settlement talks with Deshaun Watson, NFL insisted on a suspension of at least one year

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Getty Images

On Tuesday, the hearing regarding the potential discipline of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will commence. It could still, in theory, settle before the proceedings begin.

For that to happen, the NFL would have to dramatically change its current position.

Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, who reported last night that the league will push for an indefinite suspension lasting at least one year, explains that the NFL won’t accept a resolved suspension less than one season, at a minimum.

This could change once the two sides start presenting evidence and arguments and, more importantly, when Judge Sue L. Robinson starts making remarks and/or decisions that may reveal her views regarding the case. The most important wrinkle likely will be whether and to what extent she allows Watson and the NFL Players Association to pursue the idea that discipline of any player must be proportional to discipline imposed on owners who have potentially violated the Personal Conduct Policy.

If she orders the NFL to surrender all evidence regarding the Commanders investigation and the punishment of owner Daniel Snyder to the NFLPA, that could put pressure on the league. If she orders the NFL to produce evidence regarding whether to investigate or to discipline Patriots owner Robert Kraft in connection with his solicitation charge (it was dropped), that could put pressure on the league. If she orders the NFL to provide information regarding the failure to investigate the Cowboys voyeurism scandal, that could put pressure on the league. Put simply, the league could cut a deal with Watson to avoid having to disclose information that it would rather keep concealed as to Snyder, Kraft, and Jones.

If Judge Robinson cuts off that defense, advantage NFL. It can, at that point, dig in its heels. Especially since the NFL holds the ultimate trump card. If any discipline at all is imposed by Judge Robinson, the league can appeal the case. Commissioner Roger Goodell or his hand-picked designee has full and final jurisdiction over the appeal.

Thus, whatever Judge Robinson does, the end result could still be exactly what the NFL currently is proposing. The only way for Watson to avoid that outcome is to have Judge Robinson impose no discipline at all.

29 responses to “In settlement talks with Deshaun Watson, NFL insisted on a suspension of at least one year

  1. If a player breaks a record they get a bonus and dang why not keep giving incentives to players who hold their records. Seems like a great way to care for the old greats til records are broke again

  2. At least Cleveland Browns fans will always have Jim Brown and the 1964 NFL championship.

  3. 1 1/2 – 2 seasons seems fair. The earlier reporting of 6 games seemed way too light

  4. I truly feel bad for Browns fans. Devoted, passionate fanbase. It has to suck knowing your last reliable QB was Bernie Kosar. Of course nevermind the fact that they lost their team at one point to Baltimore, who won 2 SB. They also had Belichick as their HC. 2-3 years ago people were talking about how the Browns were about to become one of the top teams in the NFL, had a bright future and now appears the Bengals have taken that spot. Ouch! I guess the only fanbase that knows your type of suffering are Lions fans.

  5. If Calvin Ridley got an indefinite suspension of at least one year for placing a bet on a Falcons game, then Watson should get the same. Watson was accused of breaking the law, which to me the NFL has a more vested interest in seeing that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again by making an example out of Watson in the same way they did Ridley.

  6. Well, current Brown Kareem
    Hunt got suspended 8 games And they have a clear as day video of him shoving a woman to the ground and then kicking her. Now he’s collecting $6m per to play for the Browns and no one says a word about it. Let that sink inSo the question is how long does the NFL have to suspend Watson in order to pretend that they care about any of this before people forget.

  7. I think the NFLPA is stupid if they say the punishment needs to be the same as others metered out. Rothlesberger got 6 games for 2 accusers, that means 72 games for Watson if they apply the same math.

  8. No matter how this shakes out, Texans won… at least on the trade. We’ll see if they get named in any suits.

  9. The greatest QB in NFL history received a 4 game suspension with absolutely no proof of any wrongdoing. None. Read the actual report and you will see there was nothing there and the fact that the NFL never released PSI data tells you all you need to know. Zeke received 6 games for allegations from a single accuser and no charges filed. Watson should be a minimum of 1 year but Goodell rarely uses any logic.

  10. This punishment should have been imposed while he was a Texan, not a Brown. The fact that the NFL decided to sit on their hands for a year, should render the trade null and void.

  11. 6 articles about Watson this weekend. And nothing substantial to say other than the same questions every week – just feeding the red meat to the pitchfork crowd.

  12. I’m wondering, why is Deshaun getting so much “non-coverage”?
    I thinks it’s 24! Women have came out and sued him.
    That seems extremely alarming. He has settled with 20 of them. Settled? Settled for what?
    Why won’t the NFL or PFT say rape or aggressive sexual misconduct?
    Something is wrong… seriously wrong

  13. montgomery31 says:
    June 26, 2022 at 11:13 am
    Well, current Brown Kareem
    Hunt got suspended 8 games And they have a clear as day video of him shoving a woman to the ground and then kicking her. Now he’s collecting $6m per to play for the Browns and no one says a word about it.

    ———-

    Yeah, and by contrast Watson hinted at a little extra during a lot of massages. No assault. No violence.

  14. Firstly the union can use owners punishment all they want as they are not unionized reporting to the league. Secondly it is a priviledge not a right to play in the league. Ban him for life and get this PR crap behind you.

  15. bruce4 says:
    June 26, 2022 at 11:12 am
    If Calvin Ridley got an indefinite suspension of at least one year for placing a bet on a Falcons game, then Watson should get the same. Watson was accused of breaking the law, which to me the NFL has a more vested interest in seeing that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again by making an example out of Watson in the same way they did Ridley.
    ————————————-

    Watson was ACCUSED of breaking the law, just like Bob Kraft. Neither was indicted. Kraft received no punishment so why should Watson?

  16. Gotta be a year. The “pitchfork crowd” comment made me chuckle – what the heck do you expect during the slow season? Brees is retired, Brady came back, and Rodgers successfully extorted the Packers – there’s nothing else.

  17. How could the Browns not figure out that this was going to be a lengthy punishment. All they can do at this time is grill it and eat it plain and simple

  18. I’m All for this suspension, but it’s crazy how the NFL sweeps under the carpet and ignores egregious behavior worse than Watsons from an owner. Now, they are all self righteous throwing the book at the latest transgressor. Let’s see them do something about Snyder now.

  19. Some are real quick to forget 2 things. #1: The Browns have an 11-win, playoff game winning QB under a legally binding contract. #2. Mayfield requested a trade BEFORE the Browns acquired Watson, and he told Schefter that his relationship with the franchise was unmendable. Here’s a thought. Honor the contract that you signed. You didn’t have to sign it. Ask Eli Manning for Chargers. Scratch that. Giants.

  20. harpdressedfan17 says:
    June 26, 2022 at 10:17 am
    At least Cleveland Browns fans will always have Jim Brown and the 1964 NFL championship.
    **********************************************
    That’s one more NFL Championship than a lot of other teams have… (They actually have 4)

  21. My guess is that Waston/NFL will settle on something like a 20-game suspension, with ‘time served’ for the 2021 season (17 games). NFL wants to move on from this storyline while still imposing a >1 season suspension, and Watson wants to play.

  22. If Jimmy Haslam is surprised by this he’s even more clueless than anyone thought.

  23. One year is not enough. Any other busines sin the country would fire an employee who was inappropriate with two dozen women. He should be terminated in the form of being banned from the league.

  24. I’m not a GM, but I can’t imagine losing 2-3 years of your prime is a good thing. No way he comes back as the QB he was before not being in game shape, the speed of the game…etc.

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.