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.