Deshaun Watson’s intent to sue may remain moot; 2-8 games could be final range of punishment

Deshaun Watson Press Conference
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On Monday, the big news in the Deshaun Watson case came from Charles Robinson’s report that the NFL Players Association and Watson are prepared to file a federal lawsuit attacking a full-season suspension, if that’s the end result of the NFL’s internal process. However, the feeling within the Watson camp and the union is that it won’t come to that.

As one source who has reviewed the materials submitted last week by the parties to Judge Sue L. Robinson told PFT on Monday, the final punishment most likely won’t be one year. The currently expected range is two to eight games.

Whether the league would appeal such an outcome, and whether Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee would impose a dramatically longer ban, remains to be seen.

The case presented by the NFL ultimately focused on four alleged violations; the fifth (based on media reports and not an interview of the accuser) is not part of the decision-making process. Judge Robinson, after considering the evidence presented to her and making specific findings of fact, will apply the terms of the Personal Conduct Policy to the facts and determine whether and to what extent Watson should be punished.

One of the strongest arguments on Watson’s behalf comes from the plain language of the policy: “Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline.”

At the hearing, the NFLPA focused on owners who either weren’t punished at all or whose punishments require a player like Watson to receive a lesser sanction. Since the hearing, the Texans have settled 30 claims against them specifically for their alleged role in Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct.

So what, if any, discipline will be imposed on the team’s director of security? Brent Naccara is, given his title, a member of “club management.” He allegedly responded to news of a situation involving Watson by giving Watson an NDA to use moving forward.

As explained on Monday, the league and the team haven’t responded to inquiries regarding whether the NFL is investigating the Texans over a situation that resulted in 30 civil settlements. Watson and the NFLPA should, if they haven’t already, consider raising that point with Judge Robinson via a supplemental letter or brief, since the failure to even consider (if that’s what’s happening) any league action against Naccara or the Texans would provide further proof of a double standard between club management and players.

89 responses to “Deshaun Watson’s intent to sue may remain moot; 2-8 games could be final range of punishment

  1. I don’t see how that’s possible. Watson has been accused of abuse by more than two dozen women. 2-8 games is what one would expect from one single incident of abuse.

    Is the league really going to give Watson a bulk discount for abuse, and literally ignore dozens of victims in the process?

  2. Anything less than a year would be a slap in the face to women everywhere. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the Browns fans who defend this Manchild

  3. Brent Naccara certainly was not acting on his own, he was following orders from management.

  4. Wow, cool. Being a serial predator comes with less of a penalty than cannabis use. Man throw football good!

  5. I dare the league to only suspend him 2 – 8 games. The boycotts from the anthem kneeling will pale in comparison.

  6. Im all for the Texasns making a settlement.

    Bet we need to be honest here – the level of culpability for handing out totally legal generic forms without doing back ground research is WAY WAY lower than the culpability for being the guy actually doing the deed.

  7. Watson should be suspended for two years for embarrassing the league. He should also be required to undergo intensive treatment for his predatory behavior, and also wear a gps device so that he can be monitored.

  8. Wow….. Browns’ fans, are you really willing to root for this Predator?…….smh…

  9. The sad part is that regardless of what the punishment is, in 2 or 3 yrs this guy will be producing for Cleveland. And MOST NFL fans – especially desperate-for-winning Browns backers – won’t even remember how much of a serial predator Watson is. And that is shameful.

  10. Should be 2 year suspension. Anything less than one year is a slap in the face of those who received severe suspensions for less behavior. Anything less than a year and I will NEVER watch a NFL game again. And I am not alone. NFL, take notice.

  11. People are going to be upset but they should only blame themselves when the suspension, if any, is less than they expected. This should be a lesson in assumptions and making judgements without all the facts/information.

  12. I think the league would actually want a low recommendation so Goodell can bump it up in higher and look like they’re taking this seriously. I’m guessing it will settle around 10 games.

  13. Getting a 2 game suspension would ruin Watson forever.

    You can’t do what he did and have the public think you got away with it.

  14. So the Browns and Watson would get rewarded for gaming the system by structuring his contract so he would lose, at max, only $1 million in salary this season? Which they structured in anticipation of a one-year suspension for the 2022 season, and at 2-8 games suspended, it would be a mere fraction of his $230 million contract. That would be a travesty.

  15. If Deshaun did what he is alleged to do, or any player regardless of their talent level, he should be out of the league for good, not for 2-8 games. What an embarrassment.

  16. I think he gets 6-8.

    He does not have aggravating factors that would make it worse, based on the language of the CBA

  17. Why do I think that there is a video out there just waiting to appear on TMZ when Watson gets a 2 game suspension?

    Nah, that would never happen…

  18. I give no merit to these articles because they aren’t coming from the judge who will be ruling but more likely from sources with strong motives.

    They’re hoping to maybe influence the process, but mostly condition the public to the range of punishment they’re hoping for to minimize the outcry if they get what they want.

  19. @bengal4573

    I would say the majority of us Browns’ fans were good with (and even liked) Baker. We’re as disgusted as everyone else that the Browns sold their soul for a possible QB upgrade. In my 49 years on this planet, I’ve never been so embarrassed to be a fan of a team.. and that includes a lot of losing years between the Browns, Cavs, and Indians!

  20. T. Hill allegedly committed worse acts and he wasn’t suspended. Snyder, J.Jones, and Kraft weren’t suspended. We already have criminal and civil court who needs the NFL’s clown court.

  21. Who, exactly, is saying 2-8 games? One source?

    I think that source is testing the waters to see what the reaction might be if Watson only got 2-8 games.

  22. Ridley gets a full year suspension. Hopkins gets six games for steroids. Both victimless crimes and this guy could get less than both?

  23. Does the NFL have the equivalent of sentencing guidelines? I feel like that may be helpful for situations like this. It seems as though the disciplinary process is too murky and too subject to discretion, especially when a key argument seems to be that “Player/Team/Owner X did something similar and received a light punishment, so I too should be treated lightly.” The NFL, having bungled discipline in the past, is basically forced by past precedent to bungle discipline going forward.

  24. If he is not to be punished for an entire season, why bother with any punishment?

  25. Watson should be banned from the NFL for life. It is a priveledge not a right to play. The Browns ownership and front office are as much of an embarassment as Snyder is. How did these dudes make that much money when they are so obviously incompetent at everything they do?

  26. A 2-8 game suspension would basically be saying : “You didn’t do anything really that bad, but you got caught & we have to do something “

  27. So, Brady gets a four game suspension because the league doesn’t understand how cold weather works but Watson might get less for thirty cases of sexual misconduct? Insanity!

  28. If Watson is punished the NFLPA needs to sue and dig up all the facts concerning the 3 owners who got nothing…

  29. Elliot committed no crime and was suspended. Watson was not proven to have committed and will get suspended. Kraft clearly committed a crime and not even a slap on the wrist. Higher standard, really?

  30. Didn’t Big Ben get 6 games, reduced to 4, for the same situation? Except his alleged victim count was 2. 2-8 games for 24 alleged victims sounds awfully light.

  31. This is a joke right? I see huge fallout for the NFL if it’s anywhere near this lenient. Wow

  32. This would be consistent with the NFL’s track record of getting it wrong Every. Single. Time.

  33. He is a public relations nightmare for the NFL in my opinion.
    Nothing will ever change what he’s done.

  34. When the NFLPA notes that owners aren’t held to the same standard, I would agree somewhat. But, if we all remember, Jerry Richardson was foreed to sell the Panthers after SI reported settlements for making off-colored remarks to a few employees. I still think Dan Snyder’s comeuppance is pending. How Kraft got away unscathed is a mystery to me.

  35. I guess the upside is, with the king’s ransom in picks and money the Brownies paid for Watson, if they don’t win this year or maybe next, they won’t be able to field much of a team.

    Just cause the Rams have been able to excel with fat contracts and no 1st round picks, the Browns haven’t shown anything close to that ability- ever.

  36. kozar19 says:
    July 19, 2022 at 11:07 am
    He already has sat out one year. 17 games in 2021
    Actually Watson signed a huge contract with the Texans (nothing like the ridiculous contract he signed with the Browns), then demanded a trade and refused to play for the Texans so………

  37. Let the judge decide. She has the facts and the truths. We the people only have the facts given by a lawyer who wants huge payments for his services. There is a huge money grab going on here. Just remember that Watson was not charged for any crimes from two grand juries. The guy deserves his day in court.

  38. Roger just wants to sweep this under the rug and move on. The NFL will talk the talk about “caring”. but the only thing they care about is $$$$$$$$

  39. I have a serious question, as I have not followed this as closely as some, did Deshaun physically force any of these women to engage in any sexual acts with him? Obviously, at the very least, he has some sort of odd fetish. However, forcing women to have sex with you is vastly different than ordering x number of massages and steering the massage to sex with “star power”. I’m asking because the few things I’ve read and seen have not mentioned anything about him forcing any of these women to do anything sexual to him or with him. If they were all truly free to leave and he wasn’t threatening them in any way, other than having some sort of sex addiction, what did he do to warrant a suspension? If I missed something can someone please fill me in. Thanks!

  40. Lets just wait and see what happens. The NFLPA doesn’t have any better of an idea which way the judge will rule than either you or I do.

  41. If they saw upfront they are going to sue then suspend him 10 years as a jumping off point.

  42. Free Deshaun Watson! Time served last year, just pay back the money for however many games they decide on and lets start throwing TD passes in week 1.

  43. The llaw clearly states that one is innocent till proven guilty. People on this forum and others can have their own opinions but the law looks for proof. It’s simple. Furthermore, talk about equal treatment of players and owners.

    So is the employer supposed to be held to a different standard than the employee? Would you like that in your workplace? I wouldn’t.

  44. The NFL has a very large female fan base. A light penalty would be a huge show of disrespect and an insult.

  45. searay18 says:
    July 19, 2022 at 11:42 am
    Let the judge decide. She has the facts and the truths. We the people only have the facts given by a lawyer who wants huge payments for his services. There is a huge money grab going on here. Just remember that Watson was not charged for any crimes from two grand juries. The guy deserves his day in court.

    I’m not a lawyer but I have watched Law and Order once or twice.

    Why would the judge have facts not in evidence to the lawyers? Im quite certain that the NFL is represented by high paid lawyers, as well as Watson and they present their sides to her.

    I’m all for letting it play out, but lets not pretend the judge has a crystal ball into what “really” happened.

  46. Only in modern society can a NFL player sexually assault over 20 women and the PLAYER ends up suing someone.

  47. Ask yourself this simple question…why would the Texans give Watson N.D.A.’s for people to sign if they didn’t either think or know he was doing something wrong? If I’m the NFL I rescind the Watson trade and let the Texans deal with the fallout until this whole mess gets settled as this sordid saga is far from over.

  48. How many times have we been down this street. He sues, gets a lawyer and judge who postpones the suspension and re schedules it for the end of the season so he spends it out of season.
    And of course the judge tells the NFL they have to let him play.

  49. The llaw clearly states that one is innocent till proven guilty. People on this forum and others can have their own opinions but the law looks for proof. It’s simple. Furthermore, talk about equal treatment of players and owners.

    So is the employer supposed to be held to a different standard than the employee? Would you like that in your workplace? I wouldn’t.

    Your confusing Law with the morals clause in all the player contracts. The NFL is going after him for breaking the morals clause. He has not been found guilty of committing a crime but he has been found guilty of doing some things unbecoming an NFL player.

  50. Please tell me how you can argue for an extensive suspension for Watson when Kraft was not disciplined for paying for sex at a massage parlors on multiple occasions? Does it not say owners are held to a higher standard?

  51. For there to be victims doesn’t there need to be a crime? And there is no legal criminal action being taken. What exactly did he do to these people and why should he have any more punishment than Robert Kraft who did have criminal charges filed. He is probably a scumbag but that is not a crime, it’s not the NFL’s responsibility to regulate morality, let the dude play.

  52. Money wins out again. Can’t do the right thing concerning one of the NFL’s ‘stars’.

    Consider this: if 28 women accused Joe Sixpack of being aggressive during message sessions Joe would be wearing orange.

    Once is forgivable, but 28 times is the marking of someone with major issues, bordering on possible criminal behavior.

    Sorry, if you have money you mostly avoid prosecution. That’s the facts in modern America.

  53. The thing you have to consider is that their are several potential women who haven’t come forward yet. So if they hand down any suspension with specific time what happens when these additional suits come to light? That’s why the only suspension time that makes sense is indefinite until all this junk is out in the open. As far as him sitting out last year, he was paid his full salary so he basically got a one year vacation paid. We all should be so lucky. Watson has not gotten so much as a hand slap for all the bs he has cause with demanding a trade and then these allegations coming to light. I’m fact he got a fully paid year off from his job and then given the richest contract in nfl history. How does that make any sense?

  54. In case anybody needs more proof Goodell and the NFL care about money more than morals and justice, this should help you understand.

  55. Correct, even for applying the Morals clause, there has to be evidence. Is it fair to punish an athlete without evidence of him doing wrong? In all the other cases that people keep referring to, there was evidence to prove it, even though there might not have been nothing illegal.

    Kap did nothing wrong, but he is now out of the league. Was he morally wrong to take a stance?

    There has been clear evidence about some of the NFL owners and some prominent politicians. Is it ok there? NFL can’t have double standards and that is the risk they have to deal with if they hand out harsh punishments to players but not owners.

  56. If you’re setting out of court for what I’m guessing are fairly substantial amounts of money doesn’t that indicate some guilt? Especially with the amount of women who he settled with? We have nothing to compare this to. This is unprecedented actions by one player and there should be unprecedented discipline to prevent this from happening again. There is nothing “normal” about what Watson engaged in and he should be punished accordingly.

  57. This punishment is under the CBA, does ownership fall under the CBA or only players?

  58. I’m not buying into the media narrative of a shorter punishment.

    How can the league look the women in the eyes on staff at corp offices or team offices – if it’s a 2 – 8 game suspension.

    That’s not happening

  59. If it’s anything less than a season it would be a travesty. It’s laughable that Ridley got one year when he gambled on a game he didn’t even play in (i.e. did not control outcome). It goes to show you how much NFL loves it’s stars. MLB is much better.

    Browns fans, pls turn off your TV and boycott attendance to make a statement.

  60. If settling out of court is wrong then the Texans should be banned from the league. They settled with 30 or so women. Was that admission of guilt?

    Settling is a way to shut the noise, it is not admission of guilt. That is why Watson didn’t settle for such a long time.

  61. Let me get this straight. The league is focusing on only 4 cases. Out of 30.

    So you’re telling me if those 4 cases hadn’t happened, the 26 remaining cases would not be deserving of ANY action by the league?

  62. Still trying to figure out what he should be suspended for. He did nothing illegal

  63. Watson should thank his lucky stars that he would rather abuse women than smoke a plant because he would have already been out of the league ‘indefinitely’ if he had a weed problem. See: Gordon, Josh

  64. Those hoping for a lengthy suspension are going to be extremely disappointed. There just isn’t the evidence to support it. Allegations aren’t evidence. Then, there is the language on management’s higher standard. One can understand this and still think Watson is a creep.

  65. Let me get this straight. The league is focusing on only 4 cases. Out of 30.

    So you’re telling me if those 4 cases hadn’t happened, the 26 remaining cases would not be deserving of ANY action by the league?


    Maybe that should tell you how BOGUS this whole case is. Out of 20 to 30 cases, NFL could only present FOUR for misconduct (and NFL stated Watson did NOT sexually assault or coerce anyone in those FOUR cases). But everyone just believes Watson is a predator and guilty, so therefore he is.

  66. broughtupbrowns says:
    July 19, 2022 at 4:47 pm
    Still trying to figure out what he should be suspended for. He did nothing illegal
    Suspension is under PCP not just criminal activity. See: Elliott of the cowboys

  67. what bothers me most about this entire situation isthat Watson was considered an ALL American Eagle scout player until he said he wanted out of Houston, then the allegations began. It is like this was known behaviour and management used it to leverage him and it exploded. he was not the only one in the NFL getting extra services!

  68. Lots of people on here sticking up for Watson have probably engaged in some sort of the same actions themselves. For a certain demographic of people this is acceptable behavior. Just imagine being a masseuse and have him remove his “towel” in front of you. Better yet think about that as your daughter. I’ve worked in places where people were fired for coming on to someone who didn’t want it. They never removed their clothes or solicited sex yet they were fired. There is a punishment for acting this way. Everyone acting like Watson is some sort of victim here when he himself made the choice to act this way and engage in finding people he thought would accommodate him. It’s disgusting and if he’s not punished then we have ourselves a problem. He’s another lower level life form given millions of dollars.

  69. pendragon54 says:
    July 19, 2022 at 9:48 am
    A game suspension without pay per victim is a good, round number.

    So, since the NFL presented evidence on 4 victims, you’re saying 4 games.

  70. I know this is difficult given the nature of the allegations, but we should try to think about this unemotionally. The NFL/NFLPA agreed to contract. That contract stipulates that owners are held to higher standards than players.
    Owners and management have allegedly committed similar, serious offenses, yet none have been disciplined.
    And stop talking about dozens of victims: if the NFL felt the bulk of the potential complainants’ accusations were credible, you can bet the NFL would have used more than the 4 cases they used. So, legally speaking, we’re talking about potentially 4 occurrences of extremely creepy, but nonviolent behavior. Don’t bring up what “everybody knows”, because that is irrelevant. The NFL chose to proceed this way, and I’m sure they had good reasons, based on facts we’ll never know.
    Like it or not, it is very possible that the arbitrator upholds the contract. I think the NFL would be relieved that the saga will be over.

  71. I can’t help but look at this situation in light of the Ezekiel Elliott debacle where his accuser admitted to lying to investigators and to trying to influence witness testimony in what was at best a he said-she said situation with no other complaints. Elliott got 6 games. How in God’s name does Watson get less than a full year minimum with the massive number of corroborated claims against him?

  72. Didn’t Roethlisberger get suspended for 6 games in 2010 for a single accusation of sexual assault? If so 24 games for 4 accusations would be a fair punishment.

  73. 2-8 games total disrespect for the women working in the league office, Browns office let alone wives and daughters. These are the players that have become the poster child’s and hero’s of the league. Where are the women groups and players stepping up for a change and demand these individuals be out of the league?

  74. Its not advanced math to understand Watson has only been accused by 4 women as far as the NFL hearing is concerned. That number is now zero for criminal court and 4 for civil court. Your shouting 24 every day for several months now is meaningless.

  75. Considering the stuff so many people say in the comments, I am surprised at the level of support for severe punishment.

    Sedition and treason by elected officials goes over better with some people than Watson’s behavior does.

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