Deshaun Watson gets muted reaction at Browns' open practice
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson sprinted onto the field to a light round of cheers Saturday at the Cleveland Browns' first open practice of training camp. The noticeably muted reaction reflected the uncertainty surrounding Cleveland’s controversial new quarterback. Watson was the focal point as the Browns worked out in front of a near-capacity crowd at their suburban headquarters. He briefly waved while running to the middle of the practice fields, but did not speak with the media.
In the aftermath of the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement, thing were as good as they’ve been in years between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. All good things, however, come to an end.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Deshaun Watson case has driven a major wedge between league and union. The relationship has soured, significantly, because of the NFL’s decision to appeal the ruling entered four days ago by the jointly-hired disciplinary officer under the Personal Conduct Policy, retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson.
Attention on Watson and the Browns Nothing New in Cleveland
The team has dealt with a lot of unusual circumstances the last decade, but this one is obviously different. BEREA, Ohio—This Day 1 wasn’t unlike a lot of others in this corner of suburban Cleveland.There was the year the Browns had 28-year-old first-round quarterback Brandon Weeden. The year Johnny Manziel arrived. The year Baker Mayfield got here. The year Odell Beckham Jr. came on board. New coach after new coach. Lots of hopes that ended up dashed. And that’s just in the last decade alone.
The union shouldn’t be surprised that it’s gone this way. The 2020 CBA changed the disciplinary procedure, but it allowed the league to retain full authority over the appeal process. Did the union actually think the league would choose not to exercise the power for which it bargained?
Beyond the potential consequences of failing to be sufficiently stringent with players who violate the rights of women, the NFL generally isn’t in the practice of sacrificing its power. It’s exercising its power as a reminder that: (1) it has the power; and (2) if the union wants to change the situation, there’s a way to do it — by giving up something else in exchange for it.
Bottom line? The NFLPA let the league keep control over the appeal process. It would be foolish for the union to think the league was just going to voluntarily throw it away — especially in a case like this one.
Deshaun Watson case has damaged the relationship between the NFL, NFLPA originally appeared on Pro Football Talk
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.