NFL moves closer to deadline for filing Deshaun Watson appeal


The stunning news regarding the suspension of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross for tampering (which he did) but not for tanking (which he also at least tried to do) pushed the Deshaun Watson case out of the news for at least a day. It won’t stay out of the news for long.

The NFL’s appeal is due soon. With no reporting or evidence of discussions with the NFL Players Association to possibly extend the deadline (an extension is permitted, if the parties agree), the clock is ticking toward the closing of the window for the NFL to appeal Judge Sue L. Robinson’s decision to (checks notes) the NFL.

By rule, the league has three business days to file the appeal. It’s unclear whether that means 72 hours from Judge Robinson communicating her decision to the parties, or close of business on the third business day after her decision was reached. Good lawyering includes identifying all possible deadlines, and complying with the earliest one — just in case.

Heck, in this case it would make sense to file the appeal today, in order to avoid the potential claim that, because the decision came before the opening of NFL business on Monday, Monday was the first business day and today is the third.

That likely wouldn’t be a strong argument, but why risk it? The league, to be as safe as possible, should file the appeal before 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, if an appeal is coming.

24 responses to “NFL moves closer to deadline for filing Deshaun Watson appeal

  1. If an appeal is made, I hope they include mandatory counselling for Watson. Plus 4 games. And get over with it.

  2. Maybe you don’t file an appeal because, um, you appointed a federal judge as a neutral party to make a decision. Ummmm. This isn’t hard.

  3. Let’s see if I have this straight: The NFL and the NFLPA enter into an agreement that they would hire Sue L. Robinson, a retired federal judge, to decide what disciplinary measures should be dropped on DeShaun Watson. She ruled. Six-game suspension. Both sides now have the right to appeal that ruling … to the NFL. So, if it chooses, the NFL could appeal to itself. Hmmm. This is absurd on its face, of course, and if the NFL, hearing the NFL’s appeal, decides to increase the suspension, the NFLPA will undoubtedly challenge that in court. I don’t think the NFL wants that, so the NFL will not appeal.

  4. I am more concerned with a $100K bonus offer per game affecting the ‘integrity’ (which means ‘not predetermining the outcome of a game’) of the game….we have probably all WONDERED in the past if games were ‘fixed’ and we have all KNOWN in the past that sometimes players do ‘stupid things’ (you can’t fix stupid)….but you CAN ban people that attempt to ‘FIX’ games.

  5. I’m surprised everyone thinks that the NFL will appeal the ruling. Remember this is a PR situation, not a “justice” situation. Right now the NFL can sit back and say, “We asked for indefinite, it is the Judge who you should complain about – not us!” As soon as Roger weighs in, he is the one to complain about (and many will complain no matter what he does). Plus, then he would have a big, fat lawsuit to deal with for the next few years. Best move for NFL PR is to let this die on the vine. “While we disagree with the Ruling, this is the process the NLFPA negotiated for and we will abide by the process in this first, precendtial case.”

  6. They punish Miami on here say, yet they have evidence on Snyder and Watson yet Watson got a slap on the wrist and Snyder received nothing. Make any sense?

  7. The Watson ruling was the last straw for me. I`ll watch my local team on free TV but no more direct ticket or spending another dime on a NFL product. I know it won`t hurt them any but i`ll feel better about myself and looking my mother, wife and daughter in the eye. College football Saturday will be my free day and i`ll get my weekend work done on Sunday`s now. You can`t call a player`s actions egregious and dangerous and then say only 6 games. I don`t care who made the ruling it is the NFL`s responsibility.

  8. Miami is hearsay and Watson’s case is not? …..yeah Ok. Watson has categorically denied all allegations and has 18 testimonials from professional masseuses claiming that Watson is very respectful and a gentleman.

  9. They will intentionally miss the deadline. $100


    This will make Dumervil’s fax snafu look like child’s play.

  10. I always love the people who say “I’m done with the NFL” over this or that situation. Trust me, no one cares about you. Just go, no need to announce it. Regarding an appeal, if you read the decision, the arbitrator specifically finds it would be an egregious “ex-post facto” move for the NFL to impose any sanction above 6 games. This means lawsuit, if the NFL appeals and increases the penalty. The arbitrator wrote the decision, as arbitrators often do, in a way to specifically make it very hard to appeal.

  11. Putting the ridiculous suspension aside, it still makes zero sense that an appeal would be heard by Goodell. Why in the world would the union agree to that?

  12. If the league appeals to itself and rules a longer suspension the judge has to wonder what the heck do they need her for? Watson could file suit but the courts have already ruled on these cases and the players did not prevail. Maybe the league makes it 10 games instead of a year so the judge doesn’t feel like they were always going to give him a year and her ruling was basically a sham…

  13. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to this process because Roger has proven he has no clue how to fairly administrator punishment to players and owners. Case #1 closed and NFL has work to do by specific defining offenses and punishments under the PCP for players and owners.

  14. finfan63 says:
    August 3, 2022 at 12:28 pm
    They punish Miami on here say…

    It seems that the NFL had a little more than hearsay to go on. Brady and Payton were employees of the NFL at the time. They also have agents who were receiving the proposals. Steer your anger at the sole problem…the owner Ross.

  15. The NFL has more ownership issues than player issues. They need to let the Watson thing go, it’s been settled, and clean up the owner issues…

  16. If the NFL appeals Watson’s suspension, the NFLPA will file a lawsuit … which necessarily results in an injunction on the suspension – which means Watson plays the whole season. NFL won’t go there.

  17. What happens when the NFL suspends him for the year and the Union files suit against the NFL? Is he out till lawsuit is over or is he free to play after 6 games?

  18. NFL had to drop the Dolphins non issue BS story to try to deflect from the real issue … Watson and his ludicrously light punishment.

  19. This has to be appealed, the decision made was an absolute joke. Unfortunately if the league says it wants a longer suspension and/or fine the decision will go to court and drag on even longer. The entire situation is a no win at this point.

  20. They’ll appeal and win. They can tack on more games for lying and obstructing an investigation. Brady and Zeke both sued and lost. It’s possible Watson plays this year and serves his punishment next year.

  21. I think the NFL just wants it to go away. Fast. Unless there’s damning video that’s all there’ll be to it.

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