Will Roger Goodell personally handle the Deshaun Watson appeal?

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By rule, the NFL’a appeal of the Deshaun Watson suspension to the NFL will be handled by Commissioner Roger Goodell “or his designee.” The Commissioner has not yet made an announcement as to whether he or someone else will handle the matter.

It’s not clear when a decision will be made. PFT sent an email to a league spokesman early Thursday as to the timing of the announcement, but there has been no response yet.

So until it’s known what Goodell will do, it’s fair to ask whether he’ll choose to handle it himself.

He clearly has the power to do it. And he would have the incentive to do it, in the event that he’s not willing to trust that his designee would impose the punishment the league (Goodell) wants.

And the league clearly wants a one-year suspension. That request was made to Judge Sue L. Robinson. It was reiterated as part of the appeal. And who ultimately makes these decisions for the league? It would be the man whose name appears on every NFL football.

So maybe Goodell will retain the authority to make the decision. If he does, that’s bad news for Watson. In 2014, Goodell faced credible calls for his job given the reality that he was too lenient in his two-game suspension of former Ravens running back Ray Rice. In 2017, Goodell showed that he’ll never be accused of that again, in suspending Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott — even though he was never arrested, charged, or even sued.

This time, the league already has been criticized for the six-game suspension that the league didn’t even impose. Under the Personal Conduct Policy, the facts as found by Judge Robinson become binding on the appeal. And she found enough facts to allow Goodell to drop the hammer.

To best ensure that the hammer is dropped the way Goodell wants it to be, maybe he should be the one to drop the hammer himself.

20 responses to “Will Roger Goodell personally handle the Deshaun Watson appeal?

  1. This is ridiculous. The federal judge made the ruling and applied the suspension based on NFL guidelines and precedent. This is strictly a PR move the make the NFL appear to be tough on situations like these

  2. One of the things I read was that they are pushing for at least one year, and a monetary fine as well. Wondering, if there are limits to the fine, since technically, if he is suspended for the full year – there is no salary paid. Can they fine based on his signing bonus? (Not saying the entire signing bonus, but with no salary this year, what can they go after?)

  3. Roger needs to handle it himself, and he needs to impose an indefinite suspension with strings attached. Make the suspension reviewable next season. If there are no more lawsuits, and he apologizes, and accepts responsibility for his actions then he gets a chance to rejoin the league. If he continues to lie and make excuses, and he doesn’t wanna attend counseling to address his issues then he can’t come back. There also needs to be a substantial fine. The Browns did the league dirty when they structured his contract to protect his money

  4. The ultimate and simple solution is for the NFL to not employ people who harm the NFL’s reputation. Clearly, Watson did that. The problem is that NFL and its member clubs want to have their cake and eat it too.

    This whole mess has harmed the NFL reputation. Watson has done enough to warrant banishment. The teams want Watson to play, so they made the league put on this show rather than walk away.

    This is all about keeping Watson eligible to play while looking tough, but fair. It is silly.

  5. Goodell should handle this case and provide swift and just punishment of nothing less than a season of suspension. Watson is a serial predator and a message needs to be delivered.

  6. Not sure who’s name will be tagged, but as far as who handles it thats absolutely Goodell. Since he has final decision regardless of rulings or anything else he does automatically own the end result even if he tries saying otherwise. In fact, under these circumstances anything other than simply asking Goodell for a ruling is basically theatre.

  7. Roger must hate it when the cast goes off script and the audience heckles. Now he has to pull back the curtain and perform the obligatory righteous apology and make justice act.

  8. This is all a sham…the NFL should be ashamed of itself from multiple fronts. Like it or not a former federal judge, independent mind you, heard the case, reviewed the evidence and made her decision. Both the NFL and NFLPA agreed to having an independent party preside over such cases. If the NFL can appeal to itself, what kind of independent process is that? Whether you believe 6 games was too lenient or not, that is what the experienced judge ruled, so why are we now here? That means there is truly no independence within the process and the players should threaten to strike if that mess is not removed from the CBA immediately. Watson is a knucklehead, that we know, but this sets a dangerous precedence that makes a mockery out of so-called “disciplinary” hearings for the NFL.

  9. I will be shocked if Goodell doesn’t handle it himself.

    If Goodell follows through and issues an indefinite suspension of at least 12 months, then can the Browns do anything with Watson’s contract? Could they get out of it?

  10. slice it any way you want.. this drama shouldnt have gotten this far. another black eye for the Shield !!

  11. Regardless of the outcome of the leagues appeal will Watson still begin his (minimum) 6 game suspension at the start of the regular season? Or does everything get put on hold until the appeal is resolved?

  12. If I’m Deshawn Watson and Goodell suspends me a year, I’m hiring the sleaziest most disgusting attorney I can find. I’m looking at you Buzbee. Then I go scorched Earth and sue the NFL under every legal issue imaginable. Drag all their dirty laundry out for everyone to see. Do you really believe Kraft visited a massage parlor know for human trafficking and prostitution only once? Do you really believe Snyder was completely innocent in all of the frat boy activities going on in Washington? Did Jerry Jones find out about the peep hole and immediately shut it down? Come on Jerry, you took a peek yourself didn’t you? Let’s not forget Jimmy Haslem. Perhaps he should give seminars to CEO’s around the country on how to pay off, errr, I mean play dumb with the FBI and skate for scamming millions from hard working truckers. That’s just what’s known. Imagine what’s been buried that hasn’t seen the light of day…yet.

  13. He should not be the one who drops the hammer. If indeed, he wants to get even with his own mistake in the Ray Rice case, that would look too personal between Watson and him, considering Watson has nothing to do with this story. And, on another note, Judge Robinson did short circuit the NFLPA, by not imposing herself a suspension coherent with his wording, and thus, giving the NFL full power to do whatever they want. Legally, this is a travesty.

  14. Time for Watson to do some time, time out of the NFL!

    When the NFL/NFLPA arbitrator finds you guilty and the suspension is too soft, this is what you get. Watson, IMHO, should be suspended for at least a year, fined millions of $’s and should be booed in every town, when and if he ever plays again!

  15. If I’m DW and the suspension is anything allowing me to play next season… I’m in. I’d much rather lose $1 this year than multiple millions PER GAME next year.

  16. I’m sure Watson isn’t worried about whether he is suspended this year or next. If for some reason it’s next year the Browns will just do what all NFL teams do, manipulate the cap. Come next year they’ll redo his contract and convert his salary to a signing bonus thus significantly reducing his lost wages. They did the same this year after trading for Cooper. How do you think their so far under the cap? The Browns may be a historical joke when it comes to football operations, but they are masters at manipulating the salary cap. That’s why every year they have significant cap space.

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