Settlement remains very possible in Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary case

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Appeals officer Peter Harvey continues to delay his decision in the Deshaun Watson case, apparently not because he’s undecided or procrastinating. Harvey is believed to be waiting to see whether the league and Watson can work out a deal.

The possibility of settlement remains viable, we’re told. Currently, it could go either way. As such things usually do. But this one truly falls into the toss-up category. We’ll wait and see if the NFL and Watson can find a middle ground.

Watson’s sudden turn toward remorse is surely part of the effort to negotiate a better outcome than the one he’d otherwise experience. It’s hard to regard this belated awakening as authentic, given the months of doubling down and reciting talking points about never harassing, assaulting, or disrespecting any woman.

Then there’s the fact that his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has publicly said he believes all of the women making accusations against Watson were lying. So was Hardin just lying about all the lying, or was he just misinformed?

Privately, those close to Watson were equally zealous. They expressed dismay that reporters weren’t exposing the flaws in the claims against him, ignoring the simple fact that it’s their job to develop and expose such weaknesses. If they eventually have to do it for a jury in court, why not do it in the court of public opinion?

But now, the message is apology and contrition. It’s a far cry from anger and denial. Real or not, Watson apparently realized he was closing in on being caught on the wrong side of checkmate. Even if the NFL Players Association has grand plans for a federal-court challenge to a longer suspension, the fact remains that the NFL has consistently prevailed — and that the CBA was specifically negotiated to reserve final say to the league after other high-profile suspensions made their way through the court system.

38 responses to “Settlement remains very possible in Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary case

  1. When a man shows remorse for his mistakes, who are we to doubt his sincerity? All of us are lucky we didn’t get what we had coming to us at some time. If he wants to do better, I applaud him for saying so publicly.

  2. The guy got some massages, there were no arrests or grand jury indictments, 23 of 24 masseuses settled with a payday .. sit him for 10 and then let the Dawg out to play !!

  3. The sentence was passed down from the arbiter that was handpicked by the nfl. Why is there all this nonsense?

  4. The financial side of it is nothing, IMO. There’s zero chance that any financial fine under $230MM is going to impact him. They should bend all the way on that, but stand firm on games. You can’t give the perception of letting him “buy” his way out.

  5. Watson showed remorse? No, what he did was he read a prepared statement from his attorney while being on a show that supports Watson’s position. It’s PR 101 folks. Don’t be so naive.

  6. Drop the hammer, full extent! No Settlement, ban him for life! NO MERCY!! NO TOLERANCE!

  7. How about this scenario? Watson receives a punishment of however long, and then sustains a season-ending injury while playing in a preseason game or while in camp. How does the NFL react to him missing the season due to an injury without really serving the punishment of not playing in a game, or games, when he is physically able to?

  8. “who are we to doubt his sincerity?” I mean, we are adult humans who understand that sometimes people say things they don’t mean for reasons that are generally obvious? Maybe Watson suddenly feels remorse, but it’s much more likely that he suddenly feels he has no cards left to play.

  9. The remorse is more likely about the money it has cost him to date to settle with the 23 women or whatever that number stands at right now.

  10. Why is this taking so long? Godell has final say. We already know his opinion. Why is he delegating his job so much?

  11. I’m sure the Watson camp would love to settle, make a deal. As far as the league is concerned, NO DAMN WAY.

  12. “Browns bracing for 8 games”…

    This Harvey crap is all window dressing. There is a reason why the Browns knew it would be 8.

    Goodell may fool many, but not me.

  13. If the NFL settles for less than year out(season of 22) the league looks like it didnt care about sexual assault. EVERYONE knows that Goodell had the option to personally set the sentence.

  14. Who is negotiating with whom? This is not to be part of the process. If this is a negotiated settlement, it is not going to go well in the public’s eye.

  15. The nfl should settle for 1 year. That is moving down from indefinite, but keeps Watson out for a full season. The last thing the NFL wants is an 8 or 10 or 12 game suspension with the Browns sneaking in the playoffs when Watson gets back. Watson leading playoff victories this year would be a very bad look, however unlikely it may be.

  16. Ben received 6 games for rape. What Watson did was far less egregious and therefore deserves less than what Ben got.

  17. Suspend him for 1 full season. If what he did is so egregious that 1 full season is not enough then ban him for life. Those are the choices. IMO.

  18. I’ve said this before. Sexual predators should not be talking about a settlement. He has no right to play in the NFL. He is allowed to. I do not believe 26 women who didn’t know one another conspired against him. The NFL should suspend him 1 game for every woman. Talking about him settling is ridiculous. He has zero say.

  19. ocdn says:
    August 15, 2022 at 4:32 pm
    What crime should he go to jail for? Asking based on 2 grand juries already passing.

  20. I would think whatever they eventually land on is fair, if it matched the penalties that Kraft and Dalrymple received.

  21. As I’ve said all along, the deal has been done months ago between the Browns, Watson & Goddel, all of this is just pathetic window dressing.
    Watson’s behaviour is unprecedented & disgusting, however Goddell’s is even worse 😡

  22. 9 games and $45M, or the whole season. That would be my offer if I’m the NFL. Can’t let him and the Browns off the hook for gaming his contract.

  23. Dude is abhorrent. But lifetime ban ain’t going to happen. He sat last year, so suspend him for 10 games this year and fine him the amount he got paid last year and be done with the nonsense. This would basically amount to an unpaid suspension of 27 games.

  24. the contract’s structure is very consistent with all the big extensions the Browns have negotiated this year: big signing bonus to spread out the cap hit, with low first year(s) salaries to preserve gap to roll over to 2023.
    Watson’s is a little more extreme but is the same structure as several other key stars. Signing bonuses can be spread over many years, cap-wise. Players love it as they get the cash upfront.

    (example: David Njoku’s cap hit is under $4M this year, despite $10+M average annual salary…signing bonuses can be spread over many years, cap-wise.)

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