Watson Suspension: Last-Minute Settlement Talks, Next Steps
The NFL must now weigh several factors as the league decides whether to appeal a suspension lighter than it wanted. There’s a passage in Sue L. Robinson’s 15-page decision on Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson that cuts to the heart of how she felt the NFL wanted the disciplinary process to go. It’s one that can also illuminate where things go next.“The NFL may be a ‘forward-facing’ organization, but it is not necessarily a forward-looking one,” she wrote. “Just as the NFL responded to violent conduct after a public outcry, so it seems the NFL is responding to yet another public outcry about Mr.
Sue Robinson’s long-awaited ruling came down Monday, but that may well only be part of this saga instead of a conclusion. The NFL and NFLPA have 8am CT Thursday to file appeals, via ESPN.com’s Jake Trotter (on Twitter). © Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
While the NFLPA said it would not appeal Robinson’s ruling, it would be unlikely the union stands down in the event the NFL appeals. Roger Goodell or a commissioner appointee will oversee an appeal, as outlined in the 2020 CBA. The NFLPA has been linked to taking this matter to court, should Goodell bump this ban up to a full season.
NFL suspensions under Roger Goodell: Reviewing off-the-field bans in wake of Deshaun Watson's suspension
NFL suspensions under Roger Goodell: Reviewing off-the-field bans in wake of Deshaun Watson's suspensionGoodell was able to accomplish that mission. He took office in September of 2006 and quickly got to work revising some key policies across the NFL. Notably, he introduced a beefed-up personal conduct policy to the league in April of 2007, and that policy allowed the NFL to take more control over player discipline than ever.
From the NFL’s side, an appeal is under consideration. Its statement indicated a review of Robinson’s ruling is ongoing (Twitter link). While the NFL did not make its push for a full-season suspension a secret, the NFLPA is still displeased with Robinson’s decision for a six-game ban, per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The union “firmly maintain[s]” Watson should not have been suspended for his alleged sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct against more than 20 women.
In her report, Robinson labeled Watson’s pattern of nonviolent sexual conduct as “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.” Watson had denied all allegations of wrongdoing, but the report indicates “It is difficult to give weight to a complete denial when weighed against the credible testimony of the investigators who interviewed the therapists and other third parties.” Robinson’s ruling also prohibits Watson from seeing a non-team-approved massage therapist for the rest of his career.
Why Browns' Deshaun Watson may be willing to settle for eight-game suspension, seven-figure fine
Why Browns' Deshaun Watson may be willing to settle for eight-game suspension, seven-figure fineThe Associated Press reported Thursday that Watson would be willing to accept an eight-game suspension and a $5 million fine if his camp can reach a settlement with the NFL.
Robinson sided with the NFL by stating Watson violated the personal conduct policy on all three counts (sexual assault, conduct that endangers a person’s well-being and safety, and conduct that undermines the NFL’s integrity), ESPN.com’s Jake Trotter tweets. The gray area of this being deemed nonviolent sexual conduct came into play regarding the six-game suspension, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes Robinson’s findings — including a passage that deems it is more likely than not Watson lied to NFL investigators — could point to Goodell having enough justification to increase the Browns quarterback’s suspension length.
Given the NFL’s push for a full-year ban and its effort to protect against PR backlash, it is not hard to see a scenario in which Goodell follows through with adding games to Watson’s suspension. This would open the door to an NFLPA countermeasure that moves this to court. The CBA and recent precedent would not be on the union’s side in court, but a legal process playing out could delay Watson’s ban. Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott were able to play under injunctions; Watson could end up doing the same. Brady and Elliott, however, did end up serving their commissioner-determined suspensions eventually.
Watson Reports to Browns Training Camp While Awaiting Ruling
The three-time Pro Bowler showed up with the rest of Cleveland’s quarterbacks despite not knowing his status for the 2022 season. Editors’ note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.The Browns rookies and quarterbacks reported to CrossCountry Mortgage Campus for training camp on Friday. Among the team’s group of signal callers was Deshaun Watson, despite not currently knowing h Watson is waiting for a ruling from Sue L.
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SI:AM | Bill Russell’s Legacy .
He was more than just an NBA legend. Good morning, I’m Dan Gartland. I’ve really enjoyed reading so much about Bill Russell since his death yesterday. In today’s SI:AM: ☘️ Remembering Bill Russell???? The long-awaited Deshaun Watson ruling???? Everything you need to know about the MLB trade deadlineIf you're reading this on SI.com, you can sign up to get this free newsletter in your inbox each weekday at SI.com/newsletters.A giant off the courtThe word “legend” gets thrown around a lot to describe former athletes. But in the case of Bill Russell, legend is an understatement.