Friday’s PFTOT looks closely at the next steps in the Deshaun Watson case

Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp
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Perhaps on Saturday, maybe on Sunday, the mood will strike me to write an article with my thoughts on where the Deshaun Watson disciplinary process goes from here. Until then, you’ll have to watch the attached video to find out my assessment of what happened at the hearing, and what may happen next.

My opinions are based largely if not entirely on our reporting from Thursday, regarding the information that was (and wasn’t) produced at the three-day hearing. The notion idea that my source has an agenda or whatever, which someone apparently was suggesting today, overlooks three important realities: (1) I take all possible agendas and biases into account before reporting anything; (2) I strive for accuracy, regardless of whether the source may coincidentally have an interest in the information being reported; and (3) no narrative or agenda means a damn thing, because Judge Sue L. Robinson eventually will determine the facts and then apply the Personal Conduct Policy to them.

I’ll share this important bit of information to better explain the context and motivations for Thursday’s reporting. People close to the action on this one are VERY concerned about the potential public reaction to a finding of little or no discipline for Watson. Frankly, it’s in everyone’s interests (Watson, the Browns, the league, the team, the union, and Judge Robinson) for the general public to be prepared for the very real possibility that Judge Robinson won’t impose a suspension anywhere close to that which the league has tried to secure.

Again, none of it matters. Judge Robinson will make the decision. But as explained in the attached video, the facts will be critical. What did the NFL prove? Then, how does the Personal Conduct Policy apply to those facts? That’s something she alone will evaluate and decide.

16 responses to “Friday’s PFTOT looks closely at the next steps in the Deshaun Watson case

  1. The NFL leaked that they want a full year to save face when he doesn’t receive any discipline.

    Better to say that now and make it seem like they tried. The evidence they saw on day 1 didn’t include anything that shows he broke the law.

  2. If there is NO punishment handed down, then *someone* needs to take a real close look at Judge Robinson.


  3. I find Deshaun Watson’s behavior of seeking out massage therapists to be repulsive. However the evidence presented does not show that he coerced or physically forced anyone. The NFL and Roger Goodell’s bosses have shown themselves to dishonor the NFL shield with their own behavior at times without any punishment. If I were Judge Robinson no punishment will show Goodell and his billionaire bosses that they should clean up their own acts of poor judgement!

  4. In my opinion, the problem the NFL has started several years ago, under Goodell, when they started disciplining players who hadn’t broken laws for the sake of PR. Many, many people were saying it would be a problem and now it is. It really is and it’s why Goodell gets booed everytime he takes the stage at the draft. The owners should all be booed in public as well because ultimately they have allowed it. Does Watson deserve punishment by the NFL for being a creep? Taking this case by itself, it’s debatable. But taken in context with other cases in which players were disciplined, he should never be allowed to play again. The NFL, for the sake of PR, has become its own PR nightmare.

  5. This could all hinge on the quality of the NFL’s investigation. When the NFL controlled everything, they could easily get away with subpar investigations and get the outcome they wanted while presenting their view of it all.

  6. Mike, thanks for your coverage, (and please own you have your own bias, as we all do)
    The outcome of this will be the classic “splitting the baby”. There are two things that drive the NFL, money and stars. Mr Watson is a star, so this to me, is mostly NFL showmanship (not too unlike the draft). The NFL must feign some level of outrage given the current level of social and political unrest. They must provide a front for their sponsors. In the end, regardless of facts and evidence they will spank him enough to show (they run a tight ship) and leave it open enough so he can “get back to being a star”. My prediction, around a 10 game suspension and he comes back at the end of the year. Your analysis, though I think will be great, it won’t really matter because the NFL will just look for a way to justify all the actions to date and in the future. That is what they do,

  7. He’s going to get a year. It’s already baked in. His salary for year one is $1 mil vs $40+, the NFL leaked one year and the public won’t whine too badly if the suspension is atleast a year. Then when everyone has moved on to the next thing, his suspension will be reduced to 10 games after appeal…

  8. As a fan of Cleveland sports…I can only expect the announcement of Watson’s suspension to be nationally televised on ESPN.

  9. As a fan of Cleveland sports…I can only expect the announcement of Watson’s suspension to be nationally televised on ESPN. Watson will be taking his talents to South Beach for 4 games, 6 games, 1 year.

  10. What public concern should be taken into account? I for one feel no suspension is warranted. The man has been proven guilty of absolutely nothing, zero , zip, nada . There are consequences when one decides not to file a Police report in a timely fashion when perhaps real evidence could have been obtained or as most did which was not go to the Police at all. When alleged victims choose to fight it out in Civil Court and the few alleged Victims that did go to the police at a later date has a Grand Jury that fails to indict the chance to prove him Guilty is over. Non proven guilty people should not be suspended from working based on unproven allegations. Verdicts in Civil trials wont change his guilt or innocence .

  11. This dude is so full of himself it’s sad. And I’m not talking about Buzbee…

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