Earlier today, we raised the possibility of appeals officer Peter Harvey ruling in the next two days that Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson should be suspended for a full year, and that it should begin immediately. We have an update.
Yes, the NFL has asked for a one-year suspension starting now. If implemented before Friday night, this would keep Watson off the field for the preseason opener against the Jaguars. And, no, the NFL Players Association hasn’t ruled out the possibility of this happening.
As one source with knowledge of the union’s thinking on the case said, “We are ready if he does.”
Everyone else needs to be ready, too. Today, tomorrow, or Friday. Harvey can issue a ruling, and Watson will be barred from playing. And if the union plans to try to fight the decision in court, the league may be tempted to wait as long as possibly, thereby limiting the amount of time that the union has to launch a counter aimed at getting Watson on the field, for the balance of the preseason.
Regardless, this became an issue for us after Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke so bluntly about Watson on Tuesday. The league surely doesn’t want to see Watson in an NFL uniform on an NFL field, with highlights played on NFL Network. And since they’re pretty good at getting what they want, it makes sense to believe that, if they don’t want Watson in the building in Jacksonville on Friday night, he won’t be.