Report: Recent Deshaun Watson settlement talks went nowhere

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As explained earlier tonight, there’s a belief that Judge Sue L. Robinson delayed her decision in the Deshaun Watson case in order to give both sides a full and fair opportunity to attempt to resolve the case through negotiations.

Via Dan Graziano of, such an effort was made. But it went nowhere.

Citing unnamed sources, Graziano reports that the NFL and NFL Players Association engaged in settlement talks in recent days. The NFLPA, working with Watson’s camp, wasn’t willing to accept more than 6-8 games. The league would agree to 12 games plus a fine in the range of $8 million.

The fact that Watson was on, as a practical matter, unpaid leave in 2021 could have provided the basis for a settlement, and it still could. Because players who land on the Commissioner Exempt list and who eventually receive an unpaid suspension get credit for the games already missed, it would be simple to regard Watson as having served a 17-game suspension in 2021, if he surrenders his $10 million salary. That, plus another four games or so, should be an acceptable deal for both sides.

There’s still time for the league and the union to work it out. Four games, plus a $10 million fine that regards all of last season as an unpaid suspension. That’s something everyone should be able to live with. By the time Judge Robinson issues her decision, there’s a good chance that the league or the union will wish that this had been the agreed-to outcome.

28 responses to “Report: Recent Deshaun Watson settlement talks went nowhere

  1. Innocent until proven guilty in this country. He was never proven guilty of anything. Should be 0 game suspension. That’s an unpopular opinion I know but allegations don’t equal guilt.

  2. Why do I feel like all he’s gonna get is a slap on the wrist and everyone just moves on…

  3. If you are upset that he was not found guilty in court or the suspension isn’t long enough direct your anger to that sleazy attorney Tony Buzbee. It was his job to prove Watson guilty and couldn’t come up with one piece of evidence despite 40+ accusers.

  4. Look at you trying to play mediator. She is going to throw down the hammer with a year suspension and is giving them a chance to settle. The league wants a year and the nflpa wants less than 8 games. Nfl should hold tight, there is nothing the nflpa can do as they agreed in the cba to allow the commish to punish as he sees fit.

  5. If judge Robinson is only considering the facts and actual evidence, (not the biased opinions from the commenters on the PFT articles) the suspension would be zero games. Then Roger can ride in on his white horse and impose a 4-6 game ban and rides off the hero.

  6. No crime, per 2 grand juries.
    No force, per testimony and depositions.
    Next to no punishment to owners and/or senior management for similar types of cases ( even worse, in the Cowboys’ Dalrymple’s case IMO).
    Already sat out an entire year, though for supposed other reasons.

    I almost think there will be no suspension.

  7. That’s like giving a guy a sentence of 6 months home confinement and then noting that he stayed home around 6 months total in the last 20 years so letting him go scott free for “time served”.

    If he wasn’t missing games last year for this specific conduct code violation then how does he get credit toward this puishment for those games?

  8. Four more games would Absolutely not be acceptable. TWENTY+ women taken advantage of…he’s lucky he’s not doing real time behind bars. I think one more full season would be justified. Anything less than another half season would be a bad look to the shield.

  9. Zero games. With the forfeiture of his entire salary last year. Otherwise, might as well roll the die with Judge Robinson. The NFL only presented four cases.

  10. Calvin Ridley was suspended a full year for gambling 1500 bucks on his team to win.

    No punishment Watson receives will be enough.

  11. It’s gotta be a year, right? I mean…I see he didn’t play last season but that’s his fault. Tough luck man. Have to throw down the hammer on dumb stuff like this.

  12. I can’t wait for these comment sections to melt down when he gets 6 games max.

    The anger towards Watson and the Browns is fueled by the fact he’s not on your team. End of story.

  13. Sure sounds like a wrist slap is on the horizon. Why would his unpaid leave while on the Commish’s Exempt list have any bearing on his upcoming suspension. If that happens (and he only gets 4 games from here)….that’s a monster win for Cleveland.

  14. I guess this gets browns management off the hook for signing Watson . Must’ve been that all their due diligence paid off.

  15. Should be banned until he comes clean, admits what he knows he did and attends medical help for his issues. Then he should be out a minimum of a year and have to petition to be allowed to play again. A lot of people are going to ignore the NFL after this if not handled right. I am a 40 year fan and won’t watch a game or spend a dime going to the NFL if he is not out a year and required to seek help.

  16. This is the first story I’ve ever seen that said Watson was was on unpaid leave in 2021.

  17. this dude should never play in the NFL ever again. He is a disgrace and should be treated as the predator he is.

  18. Poetic Justice for DeeShawn would have him return and be injured in the first game back and to miss the entire rest of the season with the prospects of his career being over.

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