Reports: NFL seeking indefinite suspension of at least one year for Deshaun Watson

Cleveland Browns Training Camp
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The NFL announced Wednesday that it was appealing the six-game suspension of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, seeking a tougher penalty under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Now comes word, via multiple reports, that the league wants an indefinite suspension of at least a year for Watson as well as a fine. Under the six-game suspension imposed by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Monday, Watson stood to lose $345,000 from the $230 million deal he signed with the Browns.

The NFL’s decision to appeal could prompt the sides to resume settlement talks, which previously went nowhere. 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 NFL has not yet announced whether commissioner Roger Goodell or a designee will hear and decide the appeal.

93 responses to “Reports: NFL seeking indefinite suspension of at least one year for Deshaun Watson

  1. The NFLPA does not hold their members to any standards. Making light of their members gross misconduct is appalling. In this case and others.

  2. This will be interesting. Goodell had carte blanche under the personal conduct policy. So essentially if he loses does that power diminish?

  3. How about 34 games and suspension without pay (or a fine equal to annual pay minus $25,000 – about what a masseus makes a year)!

  4. at the very least: 1 year suspension, heavy fine, sexual harassment course and psychiatric help!

  5. The fine number is a total non-starter. Indefinite suspension is outlandish. A year is utterly ridiculous.

  6. And who do we fans appeal your decision not to force the ownerships in Washington and Miami to sale their teams. Oh, sorry they own the league, pay your salary and are filthy rich.

  7. Good. I assume Roger will hear the appeal and this will be the ruling. I doubt they will settle for anything less than 12 months with automatic reinstatement, but not sure Roger would even settle for that. Why assume the risk if Watson hasn’t sought help or changed his behavior after 12 months.

  8. No matter what one thinks of the arbitrator’s decision, the NFL system of settling these matters is a travesty. The whole point of arbitration is for an independent voice to decide. But for the NFL it is either a rubber stamping of Goodell and associates or the appeal gets tossed back to Goodell. What a waste of time.

  9. Indefinite with at least 1 year and a fine gets my vote, plus the guy needs mega counselling and attitude adjustment

  10. NFL is a joke. But so is the NFLPA for agreeing to such ludicrous terms in the CBA. If NFL had punished Kraft, Jones, Snyder accordingly, they would have a position to stand on. As it is, this simply comes off as racist BS. Bunch of billionaire white owners got their panties in a bunch that a rich black superstar can get away with what they did. NFL – like every corporation – is a sick diseased beast obsessed with the bottom line and nothing else. But yeah… I’ll keep watching cause I’m sick and diseased too, I guess.

  11. And he’ll sue. It’ll be fun to watch him play week 1 while this all plays out in court.

  12. The NFL suspension is a joke. This is nothing more than a built in way for the NFL to say “hey, we tried” and still get the outcome they actually desired.

  13. Maybe I’m alone on this, and if so, so be it. But I view Watson’s behavior (assuming the New York Time’s reporting of up to 100 women is accurate, I have no reason to doubt it) as having similarity to Larry Nassar’s abuse of our female Olympic level gymnasts over a period of time. Watson, who has and had access to the best of “everything” including the best massage therapists in the land for some reason solicited independent women (via social media) whom likely barely made enough to pay the bills; Watson was taking advantage of women without the resources and recourse he had. Why? He’s got a sexual problem and he needed to prey on the weak; he’s a predator. Sure, some “sex” was likely consensual, we all know there are women who want the notch on the proverbial belt, but most was abuse. And for this Watson so far has been made a very very very rich man. What kind of society have we become?! What if this was your sister, mother, wife, friend, etc? I’m all for 2nd chances but before those are given penalties must be paid. In Watson’s case a) his entire contract must be ripped up and any signing bonus returned b) Watson must receive treatment and a clean bill of health before he can apply for reinstatement c) a two-year suspension without pay and d) no, the Browns made the decision with their eyes wide open so the trade should not be rescinded. Watson only stopped because he was caught. The NFL is largely run by men, so when are men of integrity, for all, going to stand up and do the right thing. The fact that there’s not more outrage at Watson’s actions is likely a tell-tale sign of the type of society we have shamefully become.

  14. There is no way the NFL wants Watson to play at the Texans in week 13!

    The entire week would be a disaster, the fans at the game, would be crazy a crazy week!

  15. Hmmmmmmm what was the point of waiting 12 weeks to hear what the judge recommended only the NFL shhot down what the judge determined the punishment should be. Any comedian has a lifetime of material regarding the NFL

  16. The NFL finally gets one right! Anybody that has actually read the things that have been corroborated about Watson and doesn`t think he has a problem probably has the same problem.
    Whether he did anything illegal is irrelevant to a work suspension. We can all get suspended from work without breaking a law. The NFL has done too much to raise their female fanbase and the coaching and office personal to let Watson off that easy.

  17. Good! Agree 100%! Indefinite Ban! Minimum 1-2 years! Six games is a total joke!

  18. Wow! With all the public backlash, this isn’t surprising except maybe to the Browns…

  19. Give him the Trevor Bauer treatment. Watson deserves it a heck of a lot more then Trevor.

  20. I wonder how much compensation, all in all, Judge Robinson receives for Rog & Co. to look like they’re the good guys.

  21. What leverage does the NFLPA have? They agreed under collective bargaining that the NFL could appeal disciplinary decisions made by an independent arbiter to…the NFL!! All of this is just noise to create clicks, content, ratings and dollars for the NFL’s toadies (Schifty Schefter and ESPN, among others). The rest is just noise

  22. Of course, let us not forget amongst all of the chicanery of trying to protect clemsons greatest jerk and tug proponent, that his contract was backloaded… they all knew this was coming and the proprietors of the Dog Pound just helped grease the skids.

  23. What is the NFL’s aim with this though? They league doesn’t do anything out of “good faith.”

  24. Who the hell is going to agree to an “indefinite” suspension? Is the league braindead?

  25. There’s no end in sight to this. What was even the point of an independent arbiter? At some point, the NFL has to bring this to some kind of conclusion, for better or for worse.

  26. Round and round and round it goes. Where it stops, only the owners know. Their agreement with the NFLPA regarding this matter apparently means nothing.

  27. So the NFL leaks what they want and throws out the red herring (1 year suspension.) In the background the negotiations continue amid the saber rattling and will probably end up as 10 games and a fine. This could all be over quickly. Nobody wants a a long drawn-out situation…

  28. Being a global brand, the NFL has no choice but to do the right thing in the public’s eye. Sex abusers cannot walk with a 6 game slap. That would result in a flood of bad PR for the shield

  29. Since the Browns structured his contract so he doesn’t make much the first year,keeping him from much financial loss for a suspension they knew was coming, a fine of $5 million needs to be levied. If not more. The Haslams are slimy to say the least.

  30. The NFL should start the negotiations at BANNED FOR LIFE and then laugh at how fast the Watson camp folds.

    As for the Browns – play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  31. So if I am Watson, I offer 4 games, pay 10 million and add another year to the contract which jacks up the ‘base salary’ by 15 million

  32. Under the CBA, Goodell has the option to appeal to himself. So he can and will overrule this and it is going to be much longer than a 6 game suspension.

  33. Keep the suspension at 6 games but fine him $46 million, his average annual salary. Donate the $46 million to charities that support abused women.

  34. Imagine being that young rich and famous and not being able to get away with it. That’s the extreme degree of ugly you have to be!

  35. If his 6 game suspension somehow sticks for sexually assaulting 25+ women, Kamara’s suspension should only be about one game for throwing a couple of punches, right?

  36. No matter the punishment, I think it should be partially open ended until the final case is either tried or settled.

  37. The NFL hires an independent arbiter, the judge comes up with a punishment. The NFL doesn’t like the punishment so they appeal for more. Makes zero sense.

  38. joe1975 says:
    August 3, 2022 at 5:38 pm
    Suspension? How on Earth is it possible that he’s not in prison?
    ——–
    Because two grand juries didn’t feel there was enough evidence to charge him, let alone convict him. Criminal convictions need a lot higher standard of proof than civil suits or NFL discipline.

  39. A full year suspension and Watsons contract would not toll.
    Next year he would earn $1 million, and then 4 big years.
    So the actual penalty to him would be the loss of a playing season at whatever a starting QB earns, (i.e. many millions).

    The current penalty doesn’t hurt him at all, only the team.

  40. Watson should be thanking his lucky stars that this is about the length of his suspension and not a prison sentence.

  41. Amazing 2 Grand Juries couldn’t find 1 charge to even indict on. Deshaun will clean up in court on this. Precedent has been set in Court already.

  42. I think they should keep the 6 game suspension this year and also suspend him next year for 11 games totaling a years worth of games and fine him those games severely that totals a year and it hurts him more too

  43. This is all PR, the NFL doesn’t give a damn about women and their rights. This is is about money from sponsors and making themselves look good due to public outcry.

  44. After they get the suspension worked out they need to take the first rounders traded for Watson. No team should be rewarded for supporting this behavior.

  45. Watson’s contract was back loaded to avoid any dollar penalty because they knew a suspension was coming. He should be fined the average amount per game over the contract rather than the amount for the upcoming season per game.

  46. So when the NFL appeals the Watson ruling, is Roger Goodell appealing the case to himself to rule on?

  47. Should be 1 game / claim. And he gets paid his full salary this year, and starts losing money in year 2 since the Browns knowing he would get suspended and to avoid a huge dead money cap hit essentially set this year salary to be like 1M.

  48. I agree with the NFL 100%. I even posted such a couple days ago in a thread on here. These masseuses keep popping out of the cracks looking for settlements. Right when you think it’s over,… 3 more pop up.
    Take the full year off and get it all cleaned up. No distractions afterwards.

  49. To those saying he has not been indicted by the grand jury, the NFL does not deal in guilt nor innocence when it comes to punishment. Right or wrong, they punish according to how it looks. They set this precedent when Big Ben was suspended for four games for one accusation of sexual assault and she dropped the case completely.

  50. Rodger called the major sponsors. We have great ratings. What suspension do you need to continue your relationship with the NFL? One year it is.

  51. So this becomes a ‘Keep appealing until the NFL gets the results it wants’ type case. Forget about any agreement the NFL has made with the players union… smh

  52. Why would the NFL negotiate a settlement? They can give him whatever they want and he can’t do anything about it.

  53. Does Watson have sponsorship deals? If the sponsors have any conscience they’d cancel the deals.

  54. “The NFLPA does not hold their members to any standards.”

    ****************
    Quite true; but that is what any union does to defend members who pay dues. Defense attorneys do the same for clients who pay them. Our judicial system is based on [well-paid lawyer] combat. The only defense for the process is that it is orderly…

  55. I bet 90% of the previous commenters here couldn’t tell us one fact involved in the Watson allegations and civil suits. Not one.

  56. statechamp77 says:
    August 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm
    There is no way the NFL wants Watson to play at the Texans in week 13!

    The entire week would be a disaster, the fans at the game, would be crazy a crazy week!

    ——–

    Well if Watson doesn’t play nobody will be watching the Browns at Texans. That’s not ideal for the league either.

  57. marshall70 says:
    August 3, 2022 at 8:21 pm
    10 games 10 million = final answer

    ———

    I think the difference between 6 and 10 is irrelevant for Roger. They want him gone this year.

  58. fanofreason says:
    August 3, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    Amazing 2 Grand Juries couldn’t find 1 charge to even indict on. Deshaun will clean up in court on this. Precedent has been set in Court already.

    ————

    No… The Personal conduct policy is not dependent on criminal charges or convictions. Goodell proved very clearly in court in the Brady 4 game suspension that he has the right to hear appeals and issue whatever discipline he sees fit.

    If Watson takes it to court the Brady precedent will be there. He can’t say the ruling isn’t fair because it’s already been ruled that it’s up to Goodell. They will toss it out.

  59. gabbertformvp says:
    August 3, 2022 at 6:14 pm
    Who the hell is going to agree to an “indefinite” suspension? Is the league braindead?

    ———

    Why do you think Watson needs to agree? Goodell can change the discipline in whatever way he sees fit in his appeal ruling and if Watson and the NFLPA file a lawsuit I am sure the court will use the precedent set in the Brady case and they will rule that it’s up to Goodell.

  60. Rich Roberts says:
    August 3, 2022 at 9:12 pm
    To those saying he has not been indicted by the grand jury, the NFL does not deal in guilt nor innocence when it comes to punishment. Right or wrong, they punish according to how it looks. They set this precedent when Big Ben was suspended for four games for one accusation of sexual assault and she dropped the case completely.

    ————-

    Well criminal guilt and innocence certainly is only a factor, but they aren’t solely punishing based on how it looks either. Employees are obligated to follow their employers code of conduct as part of their employment contract or face discipline. That’s the same for every employee. Being embroiled in activities that reflect poorly on your employer is generally a violation, regardless of if it results in court proceedings of any kind, including civil proceedings.

  61. Mark Bennett says:
    August 3, 2022 at 10:29 pm
    Why would the NFL negotiate a settlement? They can give him whatever they want and he can’t do anything about it.

    ———

    Quite right. The only repercussion would be a court finding Goodell’s rulings to be so illogical or unfair that they ignore the precedent set in the Brady case that determined that it’s up to Goodell to determine punishments in appeals. I don’t see that happening with a minimum 12 month indefinite suspension. I don’t see how any court could overrule Goodell’s rights in this case.

  62. “gonna get messy with the eventual counter lawsuit” …No, it won’t. The CBA is clear that the decision on appeal is final and binding and the union (and by extension the players) agreed to it. Watson’s camp CAN sue, but they don’t have a leg to stand on unless the league or Goodell used some process not laid out in the CBA (the league didn’t). Watson has no case to make. The findings of Judge Robinson make clear the facts, and Watson did not appeal it.

  63. What Watson did was a felony crime and should be treated as such through the justice system and he should be under a league suspension until the case is adjudicated…then based on the finding, reinstate or expell without negotiation.

  64. 24 accusers, 24 game suspension
    ==========

    Jarran Reed had 1 accuser… wasn’t charged formally, or in civil court… got 6 games.

  65. fmcken says:
    August 4, 2022 at 10:33 am
    What Watson did was a felony crime and should be treated as such through the justice system and he should be under a league suspension until the case is adjudicated…then based on the finding, reinstate or expell without negotiation.

    ——–

    That’s water under the bridge. Unless a new accusation comes to light the criminal justice process had already happened and there wasn’t enough evidence for criminal charges. Hence the civil cases all being settled out of court. It’s also already been proven his behavior violated the personal conduct policy of the NFL. The only question now is the punishment. It doesn’t look like Watson and the NFLPA were going to appeal the 6 game suspension, so that’s now the base. The NFL thinks it should be more or they would not have appealed. So that’s where it’s at.

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