Deshaun Watson hearing starts today

USA TODAY Sports

The news was carefully tucked into low tide of our collective early-summer attention span. The day has arrived. The hearing regarding the potential punishment of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson begins today.

The league has proposed discipline. Per multiple reports, the NFL wants an indefinite suspension of one year, minimum. The league hopes to keep it open ended, given the possibility that more claims will be made against Watson. Monday’s lawsuit against the Texans suggests that at least six more lawsuits could be filed against Watson. It’s unclear how many can be or will be filed against the team.

Retired Judge Sue L. Robinson will preside over the hearing. Before making a decision as to potential punishment, she’ll have to decide whether and to what extent the NFL Players Association will be permitted to explore the defense based on the notion that any punishment for Watson must be proportional to discipline imposed on Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for potential violations of the Personal Conduct Policy. As explained on Monday, if she lets that issue go too far, she could jeopardize her appointment.

If she finds that Watson should not be disciplined at all (which also could jeopardize her appointment), the case ends. If any discipline is imposed, the case gets appealed to Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has final say over the process.

Same as it ever was.

They’ve tried to infuse a sense of independence into the process, but at the end of the day the Commissioner continues to have his hands on the wheel. And if his employees currently want an indefinite suspension of at least a year, why would he disagree with them if/when the case lands in the lap of ultimate NFL power?

It’s unclear how long any of this will take. If the NFLPA is allowed to fully explore the defense based on proportional punishment in comparison to owners, it could take a while. And that won’t be the union’s fault. It has the right, and the duty, to defend Watson. In the end, his best defense could indeed be rooted in the idea that, although the Personal Conduct Policy provides that owners will be held to a higher standard, the truth is that they aren’t. And that the players should be held to that same standard, too.

39 responses to “Deshaun Watson hearing starts today

  1. One month for each case. If more cases are filed the extra months get tacked on.

  2. I would love to hear a discussion why the NFLPA doesnt let the NFL fire / ban this guy from the league soley for the negative image he is bringing to his employer.

  3. Watson should be suspended indefinitely until all lawsuits are completed, either settled or by going to trial.

    The league approved the Browns / Texans trade, so I do not see how the league can now void the trade.

    As for punishment for the Texans, how can the league hold the Texans responsible for the actions of a player?

  4. People will grumble, but nobody actually expects owners to be held to the same standard as players. This is real life.

  5. Watson is going to get a year or more for propositioning women.

    He should have manipulated the outcome of football games instead.

  6. Can’t compare what Kraft did to Watson. With Kraft all parties knew what was expected, this is what Watson should have done.

  7. Don’t let the NFLPA cherry pick their examples:

    Jim Irsay was suspended 6 games. Eddie DeBartolo was suspended for an entire season. Jerry Richardson was forced to sell the Carolina Panthers.

  8. The red herring is the indefinite suspension of “one year, minimum.” After that is dispatched it will come down to the amount of games he is suspended; a win/win for both sides. I am guessing a deal will be struck struck shortly and all parties will move on.

  9. With 24 suits filed, and potentially 6 more coming….. With him seeking out 66 masseuses over an 18 month span, I dont see any likelyhood of no action being taken against him. With his inability to control his own behavior and/or settle these in a timely fashion, his reputation is permanently scarred. The question is more along the lines – what is a suitable punishment? And, how do you address the fact that there could be more information to come to light – since there are 4 cases left unresolved and potentially 6 more that could come to light?

    At no point in this process has Watson ever publicly acknowledged wrong doing or remorse for his actions? If you are looking for a standard bearer for improvements on NFL disciplinary process – he is not the right person.

  10. “They’ve tried to infuse a sense of independence into the process, but at the end of the day the Commissioner continues to have his hands on the wheel.”
    ———————————————————————

    Yes the Commissioner continues to have his hands on the wheel, because the NFLPA VOTED to give him that authority!! The players association FAILED during the last negotiating session to change how the disciplinary process is handled, so they can’t sit around crying about it now they did this to themselves. Here’s hoping it’s an indefinite suspension with a minimum of 2 years.

  11. DW forgot he wasn’t invincible. There’s nothing that says he has a right to play this game. Not only would I give him at least a year but he should be legislated to donate that year to charitable causes.

  12. Somehow, some way, I see the punishment in the vicinity of 10 games. Then, an appeal to get it to 8 gms. I hope I am wrong, but I see Watson taking snaps this year. Which would be a travesty.

  13. “I would love to hear a discussion why the NFLPA doesnt let the NFL fire / ban this guy from the league soley for the negative image he is bringing to his employer.”

    Because the NFLPA represents the players, and DW is a player. They gotta stick to their lane.

  14. I like the idea of 1 game per plaintiff in this case. 1.5 years should be enough to wreck his career.

  15. unsunder says:

    Because the NFLPA represents the players, and DW is a player. They gotta stick to their lane.
    —————
    The NFLPA still have to have some grounds for dismissal based on a conduct policy. The NFLPA is the main enabler of all of his behavior by defending it. People in unions do get fired for detrimental behavior.

  16. When does the groveling start with the browns mgmt. for an actual Qb that will play

  17. Banned for life NFL show you care for not only NFL women fans but all women including your wife’s, daughters, granddaughters.

  18. HagemeisterPark says:
    June 28, 2022 at 9:48 am
    I would love to hear a discussion why the NFLPA doesnt let the NFL fire / ban this guy from the league soley for the negative image he is bringing to his employer.
    ——
    Simply put, they are the player’s association and not the team’s association. The team’s association is called the NFL. NFLPA is a labor union and Deshaun is part of the union.

  19. HagemeisterPark says:

    I would love to hear a discussion why the NFLPA doesnt let the NFL fire / ban this guy from the league soley for the negative image he is bringing to his employer.
    =======================================================

    The purpose of a union is to be an adversary to the employer. The damage to the business is irrelevant to them.

  20. HagemeisterPark says:
    June 28, 2022 at 9:48 am
    I would love to hear a discussion why the NFLPA doesnt let the NFL fire / ban this guy from the league soley for the negative image he is bringing to his employer.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The purpose of a union is to represent the interests of their members. They can not choose which members they support, and which ones they don’t -otherwise they can be sued by their member for an unfair labor charge with the NLRB. I am not a fan of unions myself, but in this situation they have no choice, unless the member rejects their help – which is unlikely.

  21. Tiger Woods came clean at a news conference. He was never the same player after that moment. His confidence that he relied on so heavily in the mental aspect of his game, was shattered. He no longer was ‘getting away with it’ and lost that feeling of power over his situation, that fed into his ego and game.
    I am curious if after all this is over – not to mention 2 years off – will change DW’s mental game. No doubt the NFL will require him to attend some sort of sensitivity training and counseling.
    Vick came back and did decent after his stint in jail. He was humbled as well. Time will tell what type of Watson the Brows get.

  22. I have a question – may sound stupid but here goes…

    IF he is suspended, but only for one year – when that year is over is it still possible he can be put on the Commissioner Exempt List? Or is that alternative automatically out of the question, superseded by the suspension.

    Well, two questions.

    Also, can he face further suspension or exemption if future claims are brought against him.

    Asking for a friend.

  23. The Browns need to do an “extensive” investigation of their “extensive” investigation and while they’re at it they need to train their investigators the meaning of “extensive”….

  24. NFLPA: Hey Commish, how many games did you suspend Snyder, Kraft, Jones and Irsay for? Commish well none.

    NFLPA: Your honor, they said owners are to be held to a higher standard and none of those 4 were suspended. Therefore, our client should miss Zero games

    Judge: I agree.

    Thanks for playing

  25. I’m all for the indefinite suspension with a minimum of one year, because there are surely more women out there who have had extremely unpleasant experiences with Watson. There are people out there who do not realize what that does to your self esteem and your life as a whole. It’s very damaging long term.

  26. As a Browns fan, a year suspension would be the best thing to happen for the Browns. This allows them to get Watson for a base salary of $1 million for the entire 2023 season. Then they can use the rollover cap they have saved to bring in top-tier talent from free agency. They’d have around $80 million in cap space while having some of the NFL’s best players under contract long-term to start the season. The Browns would likely become heavy Super Bowl favorites in 2023 and beyond.

  27. This isn’t one offense, it’s at least two dozen and counting.

    This should not be one bulk-discount punishment. It should be a couple dozen times the usual punishment for this type of accusation, because each one was a separate incident involving a different woman.

    If this was one woman making this kind of serious accusation, 6 games would not surprise anyone.

    Give that for every accusation, and it’s about 9 years. And that is completely fair.

  28. BuckyBadger says:
    June 28, 2022 at 10:12 am
    Can’t compare what Kraft did to Watson. With Kraft all parties knew what was expected, this is what Watson should have done

    ————

    How did Kraft know the masseuse was expecting more than a massage without asking? Nobody claims Watson forced himself on them, so is merely asking enough to punish the guy?

  29. BuckyBadger says:
    June 28, 2022 at 10:12 am
    Can’t compare what Kraft did to Watson. With Kraft all parties knew what was expected, this is what Watson should have done.

    ————————————————————————-

    Kraft solicited prostitution and was caught twice.
    That’s illegal in every state but Nevada.
    He wasn’t charged but neither were Watson or Big Ben.
    Kraft got no punishment from the league

  30. WhatInSamHill says:
    June 28, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    Kraft solicited prostitution and was caught twice.
    That’s illegal in every state but Nevada.
    He wasn’t charged but neither were Watson or Big Ben.
    Kraft got no punishment from the league
    —————————————–
    Kraft was absolutely charged. He went to trial and got the case tossed on a bad search and seizure.

  31. evildave says:
    June 28, 2022 at 5:17 pm
    WhatInSamHill says:
    June 28, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    Kraft solicited prostitution and was caught twice.
    That’s illegal in every state but Nevada.
    He wasn’t charged but neither were Watson or Big Ben.
    Kraft got no punishment from the league
    —————————————–
    Kraft was absolutely charged. He went to trial and got the case tossed on a bad search and seizure

    ————

    The NFL could have still handed down it’s own punishment. They didn’t and it was the right call. And if they are going to let perpetrators of actual domestic violence odd the hook then It is the right call here as well.

  32. The union is not obligated to defend Watson’s disgusting and criminal behavior.

    It may be obligated to represent him, assure that he understands accusations against him and that he isn’t being unfairly charged, but to say it’s obligated to get him out of being held accountable for proven sexual assaults is ludicrous.

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.