The Personal Conduct Policy and the Collective Bargaining Agreement say nothing about when a decision must be made by Peter Harvey in the appeal of Deshaun Watson‘s six-game suspension. The only requirement is that the process must be “expedited.”
There’s one specific wrinkle that could delay the expedition process. Although the policy and the CBA do not contemplate a hearing on appeal, it’s possible that the NFL Players Association has requested one.
Neither the league nor the union has answered the question of whether a hearing was requested, or whether a hearing will occur. Obviously, a hearing would slow things down.
A hearing also would be largely meaningless. There can be no new evidence. A hearing would give the parties a chance to present their positions verbally to Harvey before he issues a ruling.
If anything, the league should want a hearing. The union got the last word as to the written documents. A hearing would give the league a way to present a rebuttal.
Then again, if the NFL wants Harvey to know what the NFL thinks of the NFLPA’s brief, the NFL surely has ways to let Harvey know, given his broader relationship with the league.
If there isn’t a hearing, it’s reasonable to brace for a decision this week. Judge Sue L. Robinson had the written materials of the parties for 20 days before issuing her ruling, and she was not required to expedite her consideration of the case. Harvey has had the written submissions for three days and counting. Friday will make for a full week. If expedited means what it’s supposed to mean, a week seems like the longest possible window Harvey should utilize before formally giving the NFL whatever it wants.