Could Peter Harvey block Deshaun Watson from playing in the preseason?

USA TODAY Sports

As Peter Harvey ponders the NFL’s appeal of the six-game suspension imposed on Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, the league wants Watson to be banished for a full calendar year.

Here’s an important question, if Harvey gives the NFL what it wants. (And there are plenty of reasons to think he will.) Will Watson be immediately suspended?

It makes logical sense. The analysis, if the league gets its way, pivots from specific games to broader chunks of time. One year. Starting now. No delay.

The NFL did not respond to an email seeking clarification as to whether it’s seeking the removal of Watson from training camp and the preseason. If it isn’t, it’s not an issue. If it is, it’s something to watch.

The Browns open the preseason on Friday night in Jacksonville. We’ve previously reported that the Browns plan to play Watson in the preseason. Based on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments from Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine that possibility sitting well with 345 Park Avenue.

So, yes, we’re not ruling out a ruling from Harvey that rules out Watson for the preseason. Then, the question would be whether the NFL Players Association would mobilize with a legal effort to keep Watson on the field until Week One, when his six-game suspension will start because the NFLPA didn’t appeal that portion of Judge Sue L. Robinson’s ruling.

37 responses to “Could Peter Harvey block Deshaun Watson from playing in the preseason?

  1. Too bad the NFLPA just doesnt let the NFL fire the guy so we can be done with this. He has already cost his boss millions in lawsuits and bad publicity.

  2. If Watson is suspended for a year why would the Browns want to play him in the preseason? I would think that they would want to play the QB’s who will actually play this season so that they are ready.

  3. The NFL needs to go all the way with this. The detective says the evidence proves what he did. The Judge said the evidence proves what he did. Goodell agrees that the evidence proves what he did. Indefinite suspension, nullification of his contract, fines and loss of draft picks for Cleveland the the NFL needs to vote to force the sale of the Cleveland Browns. Jimmy Haslem is a blight on the entire NFL and needs to go.

  4. this just keeps getting stupider …
    Most people don’t mind rules, but the league keeps changing them as this process tries to move to a conclusion.

  5. Cleveland knows where this is going. It’s minimum 6 games and probably 90%+ percent chance it’s the whole year. They shouldn’t be putting him on the field right now. It’s irresponsible by them.

  6. The NFLPA just doesn’t seem to be able to match the might of the NFL. Too bad for Watson. The NFL succeeds in smearing the guy into getting the general public into a froth and the NFLPA can barely put up a real fight. This is how powerful billionnaires always beat powerful millionnaires. Goodell can scream all he wants about season-long suspension but then provides cover for the owners every chance he gets and owners who have done worse than Watson.

  7. The NFL needs to get out of the punishment business and in to the entertainment business. Its absolutely ignorant to keep suspending players for non criminal activities and making refs call 60 penalties a game

  8. What happens if he plays in the preseason and gets a major injury like an ACL? would he then have to rehab before his suspension would take affect?

  9. The Browns can’t find anyone who wants to play for them. Wonder if they even have 53 players in camp.

  10. usedtothrowtds says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:33 am
    this just keeps getting stupider …
    Most people don’t mind rules, but the league keeps changing them as this process tries to move to a conclusion.

    ———–

    They’ve changed zero rules.

    During the Brady suspension appeal, Goodell proved that he has the right to determine punishment in an appeal under the collective bargaining agreement.

    He’s just doing exactly what he proved he was allowed to do in 2016.

  11. This is really strange, the NFL hires a female independent judge to weigh all of the evidence, carefully consider it and come up with a sentence. The arbiter comes up with a penalty, the NFL doesn’t like the sentence so they appeal? Can’t make this up.

  12. Huh????

    bawlzich says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:45 am
    The Browns can’t find anyone who wants to play for them. Wonder if they even have 53 players in camp.

  13. Maybe Peter Harvey can block all the players from playing in the preseason so we can save ourselves from the 4th and 5th stringers playing in these meaningless games

  14. 50Stars says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:31 am
    Too bad the NFLPA just doesnt let the NFL fire the guy so we can be done with this. He has already cost his boss millions in lawsuits and bad publicity.

    ———–

    Given all the money that the Browns agreed to pay Watson, I do wonder what the NFL said to the Browns at the time. What kind of assurances could the Browns possibly have gotten given where this all ended up? Did the Browns do zero due diligence at all?

  15. This is 95% he said/she said, so in a court, it’s hard to say which way a jury would lean. (Remember the NFL only offered 4 cases in it’s arguments. The rest? Not good enough. And yes, the judge said Watson either knew or should have known what he was doing.)
    It’s 100% “I THINK…” to the public, because we only know what people with an agenda one way or the other have told us. (And Watson can’t say ANYTHING that might be construed as an admission of guilt, even ‘I’m sorry if I hurt anyone.’)

    A disinterested third party, approved by both sides, made an unbiased decision based on the evidence given to her and the previous punishments handed down by the league. The NFL wants to change the rules mid stream, which she specifically stated would be unfair. How you feel about that all depends on your opinion of what should happen, even if it’s only an opinion.

  16. Yes, he should be blocked from playing in the preseason. It would be even better if we just release him so he can find a more desperate team to sign him. But sadly, there probably isn’t.

  17. The guy preyed on nearly 100 women, according to the New York Times (whether they’re telling the truth or not, it certainly can be questioned). And yet there are weak men in this comments string only concerned with football. I wonder if these weak men say these things to their wives, daughters, mothers? I doublt it, it’s not how weak men roll. Deshaun Watson has no place in any organization with any integrity; he’s a serial predator. The NFL’s solution: reward him with a quarter billion dollars, guaranteed. I wonder what would happen if Watson does this again, this time to the sister of one of his Brown’s teammates. Would they continue to welcome him with open arms.

  18. Cleveland acquired a 230 million dollar gigantic headache for themselves. Watson playing in the preseason should be the least of their worries. Let them deal with the fallout. They asked for it.

  19. usedtothrowtds says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:33 am
    this just keeps getting stupider …
    Most people don’t mind rules, but the league keeps changing them as this process tries to move to a conclusion. // The rules aren’t changing. Just because you weren’t previously aware of them doesn’t mean they weren’t written and agreed to by the NFLPA.

  20. I think we all should just wait until the criminal charges are adjudicated. That would be the smart thing.

  21. What happened to Watson forfeiting the $10M he got paid last year to sit out and counting that as his year suspension? Can he do that and then sit the suspended 6 games?

  22. Watson’s presence is toxic, epecially in a road game. He will get booed and harrassed by fans, and just by association the team will get it, too. I get that fans can be hostile anyway, but I just think it’s going to be bad for the Browns this year at any away game.

  23. the HC and GM of the Browns are smart guys .. they knew signing DW came with risks .. if DW cant play this yr it wont be the end of the world .. what the old line prepare for the worst and prey for the best !!!

  24. You either kick him out of the NFL, or you let him play. Anything in between is just for show

  25. The Browns signed Watson knowing full well that a lengthy suspension was in play. All of this hand-wringing and speculation is just part of the pageantry. Welcome to the show.

  26. Sure. But by that logic, the preseason games would count toward his 6 game suspension.

    Suspended players being allowed to play in preseason games is by design.

  27. I really do feel badly for Cleveland’s fan base. If this was happening with my team,I would be furious with ownership. I wouldn’t want Watson on the field for ANY games,preseason or otherwise. It’s not going to be pretty if he is allowed,no matter how much he tries to connect with the fans.

  28. This football year has started. Let DeeShawn get all the practice and playing time he wants at the gimmick contract rate he signed trying to game the system. Ban him from the entire 2023 football season. Period.

  29. he should be banned for life and take all that contract cash and divide it up between his victims. the Brownies want him to play preseason games. if he gets wiped out he will rehad all year and at least do something for the free money.

  30. I am compelled to root for the Jacksonville pass rush unit. Even if they aren’t the best, they will be motivated.

  31. Didn’t all the victims settle and no criminal charges filed? It’s over now in the eyes of the law so move on in football. Quicker he starts 6 game suspension, Quicker we all move on from reading about his stupid choices.

  32. onewarriornation says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:32 am
    The NFL needs to go all the way with this. The detective says the evidence proves what he did. The Judge said the evidence proves what he did. Goodell agrees that the evidence proves what he did. Indefinite suspension, nullification of his contract, fines and loss of draft picks for Cleveland the the NFL needs to vote to force the sale of the Cleveland Browns. Jimmy Haslem is a blight on the entire NFL and needs to go.
    ========================
    We all understand that two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Deshaun Watson on criminal complaints stemming from allegations of sexual assault or harassment by 24 women, right? While I can agree on wanting a harsher punishment it might make sense to pump the brakes on the “evidence” proving anything. Forget the fact that the NFL has consistently proven to be wholly unreliable in presenting evidence to anybody. It’s much safer to claim Watson is being punished solely by allegations (which is the bar the NFl is using to met out justice) than by any perceived evidence.

  33. Paul M says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:43 am
    The NFLPA just doesn’t seem to be able to match the might of the NFL. Too bad for Watson. The NFL succeeds in smearing the guy into getting the general public into a froth and the NFLPA can barely put up a real fight. This is how powerful billionnaires always beat powerful millionnaires. Goodell can scream all he wants about season-long suspension but then provides cover for the owners every chance he gets and owners who have done worse than Watson.
    ==========================
    MFLPA has an impossible task because the only way they accomplish any meaningful fight would mean neutering Goodell from having final say on player conduct. The ONLY way that happens is if the players unite and walk out until Goodell concedes that power.

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