The news of the negotiated 11-game suspension and $5 million fine for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson emerged not because of a strategic leak five minutes before publication to a league employee or a broadcast-partner insider who has achieved most-favored-nation status.
It happened by accident.
The NFL has confirmed that the news came from the accidentally premature release of the information on the league’ communications portal.
“An issue arose during the preparation of the release that was to be published on and distributed via nflcommunications.com,” the NFL told PFT via email. ‘We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.”
Even if it happens again, it will never occur in a more consequential case. With everyone actively chasing the news, after we reported that news was coming, an unaffiliated reporter who only recently got an account at NFLCommunications.com spotted it and tweeted it.