NFL, Deshaun Watson not currently talking about a settlement

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As sports media navigates its way through the task of generating content in the slow time for the NFL, it’s important to try to separate the news from the not news.

Recent comments from Dan Graziano of ESPN.com regarding the prospect of a settlement between the NFL and Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson are not news. Graziano, based on what he said and how he said it, wasn’t trying to make it news. He was just answering a question regarding the potential for a resolution.

Appearing on ESPN Radio, Graziano explained that the two sides had settlement talks during the hearing. He said, as have others, that the league had been pushing for an indefinite suspension of at least one year. Graziano mentioned at one point, by way of further elaboration, that the league at one point had moved the needle for the minimum suspension in Watson’s direction.

“They weren’t able to come close enough late last week,” Graziano said. “The league is still insisting from what I’ve been told on an indefinite suspension that would allow Watson to . . . apply for reinstatement after a certain period of time. Initially they wanted that period to be a year but they moved a little closer to Watson and were talking about, ‘You know, you can reapply after 12 games,’ for example. But Watson is still not interested in signing up for that indefinite suspension.”

It’s important to remember that Graziano isn’t claiming that an offer of 12 games plus an open door for more is even on the table. It wouldn’t matter if it was; Watson didn’t want it.

Now that the hearing is over, Watson’s team is focused on persuading Judge Sue L. Robinson to not suspend him at all. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics pegged the potential for a settlement along the lines that Graziano discussed, “We are far past that point.”

Per multiple sources, currently there are no talks. Another source said that, based on the evidence and argument at the hearing, a 12-game, open-ended suspension would not be a serious offer.

Yes, talks could resume at any time. As recently explained, the league will have a hard time settling the case before Judge Robinson issues a ruling, because the league can’t afford to be perceived as being too lenient when it comes to Watson, given that the mishandling of the Ray Rice situation nearly brought down the house in 2014. There’s another reason, however, for the league to perhaps settle this before a ruling is issued by Judge Robinson. But I’ll hold that for a separate post.

After all, we’re also navigating our way through the task of generating content in a slow time for the NFL.

19 responses to “NFL, Deshaun Watson not currently talking about a settlement

  1. The NFL doesn’t want another Ray Rice backlash. They need, for PR reasons, to look like they’ve passed down discipline to Watson. There’s zero chance he gets no punishment, unless the NFL is trying to bungle their way to that conclusion.

    Watson is a PR nightmare, and the NFL (and the Browns) have to deal with the nightmare they’ve allowed to hang over the league for 2 years.

  2. Why is the NFL trying to reach a settlement… it’s your business, you say your suspended 1 year… done! Right to hire right to fire, not sure why they are worried about getting the scum bag to agree…. If he isn’t able yo be prosecuted by the law, it doesn’t matter… he’s already had “conduct detrimental to the organization” and last I heard people get fired all the time from business and lose careers with simple allegations! Why is this different?

  3. Why does Watson get to negotiate his own punishment? Just lay down the law and move on.

  4. Watson knows more people are going to come after him with stories that may be worse and could make a suspension of 1 year even longer. I guess the Browns never saw this coming even though Jimmy Haslam told the people of Cleveland they did “their own investigation” and still did the trade. Look up the word “bungle” in the dictionary and it says “see also The Cleveland Browns”.

  5. Watson is getting an indefinite suspension reviewable after 1 year. That leaves the door open for a long suspension should more lawsuits arise, and here’s the league off the hook, because they can say “oh we’re simply following the judges ruling”, and he’ll be back playing next year which means a Minimal financial hit for him, and that’s not right, but that’s how I see it playing out

  6. What happened to the NFL’s insistence on an indefinite suspension with a minimum of one year? Is the league going soft with the passing of time? Here comes another black eye for the NFL if Watson gets off easy.

  7. Watson is beyond arrogant. A really unlikable guy. The face of the Browns franchise.

  8. Forget politics and perceptions. If Watson just comes back into the league and continues the same behavior or his behavior escalates then it’s horrible. Even if it wasn’t criminal Watson negatively affected a lot of women. He needs to change.

  9. Im not settling for just a massage said watson 66 times
    League says we arent settling for anything either
    Hhmmmm

  10. dl72fan says:
    July 7, 2022 at 11:43 am
    Tell them where they can stick that offer

    ________________________________________________________________________

    I think his normal standard is to try and stick his offer somewhere…That is why he is in this situation. He needs to be banned for life. Either way the Browns are a losing team, with or without him.

  11. demanrighthere says:

    July 7, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Why is the NFL trying to reach a settlement… it’s your business, you say your suspended 1 year… done! Right to hire right to fire, not sure why they are worried about getting the scum bag to agree…. If he isn’t able yo be prosecuted by the law, it doesn’t matter… he’s already had “conduct detrimental to the organization” and last I heard people get fired all the time from business and lose careers with simple allegations! Why is this different?
    ————–
    Because it’s not always right to hire and right to fire. In this case there are rules that were collectively bargained with the players union that need to be followed. This isnt a tough concept…

  12. The word settlement seems to be lost in Watson’s vocabulary. He only responds to it once every 2 years.

  13. demanrighthere says:
    July 7, 2022 at 12:00 pm
    Why is the NFL trying to reach a settlement… it’s your business, you say your suspended 1 year… done! Right to hire right to fire, not sure why they are worried about getting the scum bag to agree…. If he isn’t able yo be prosecuted by the law, it doesn’t matter… he’s already had “conduct detrimental to the organization” and last I heard people get fired all the time from business and lose careers with simple allegations! Why is this different?___________________________________________________

    Because there’s a CBA to follow. The discipline procedure is outlined in it.

  14. Sunday Swami says:
    July 7, 2022 at 1:19 pm
    demanrighthere says:

    July 7, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Why is the NFL trying to reach a settlement… it’s your business, you say your suspended 1 year… done! Right to hire right to fire, not sure why they are worried about getting the scum bag to agree…. If he isn’t able yo be prosecuted by the law, it doesn’t matter… he’s already had “conduct detrimental to the organization” and last I heard people get fired all the time from business and lose careers with simple allegations! Why is this different?
    ————–
    Because it’s not always right to hire and right to fire. In this case there are rules that were collectively bargained with the players union that need to be followed. This isnt a tough concept…
    ______________

    We’ve had our disagreements Swami, but you are dead right here. It is amazing that these people believe that business owners have unfettered power to treat employees as they wish. Of course, their hatred of unions obviously drives part of this. However, they also fail to realize that employers have to abide by labor laws, safety regulations, and fair hiring practices regardless of whether a union is involved.

  15. I can’t believe people are posting that Watson should be banned for life. For solicitation? That’s what this…..no claims of physical assault or use of force.

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