Report: Deshaun Watson Disciplinary Ruling Expected Monday
If there is a suspension, both the NFL and the NFLPA will have the opportunity to appeal.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.Sue L. Robinson, the NFL and NFLPA’s impartial arbitrator, is expected to inform Deshaun Watson of his potential disciplinary ruling Monday, according to multiple reports.Robinson has not hinted at the severity of the punishment after the league launched an investigation that lasted well over a year into the sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against the Browns’ quarterback. However, there is a feeling within the Cleveland organization that Watson may receive a suspension of four to eight games, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.Josina Anderson first reported that Robinson planned to inform Watson, the NFL and the players’ association of her ruling Monday.Robinson’s decision in her first case as disciplinary officer is not necessarily final. Both the NFL and the NFLPA will have the opportunity to appeal any length of the suspension. At that point, league commissioner Roger Goodell will either make a final decision or call upon an independent ruler.Twenty-five women filed civil lawsuits against Watson starting in March 2021, and only one dropped their case due to privacy concerns in April ’21. Watson agreed to settle 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits in June ’22. The detailed graphic accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurred during massage therapy sessions range from Watson allegedly refusing to cover his genitals to the quarterback “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”The quarterback has denied all allegations against him, and two Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges earlier this spring.Watson’s hearing with Robinson began June 28 with the NFL reportedly pushing for an “indefinite suspension,” which would “give the NFL the flexibility to keep him out for longer based on a variety of factors, including whether more cases surface,” per The Wall Street Journal. The league reportedly wanted the “indefinite suspension” to be no less than one year.According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, settlement talks between the parties collapsed when the NFL pushed for a season-long punishment while the players’ association argued for something lighter. The NFLPA reportedly planned to show comparisons to the league’s handling of cases involving three prominent team owners—the Commanders’ Daniel Snyder, the Patriots’ Robert Kraft and the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones.The hearing lasted three days, and post-trial briefs were requested from both sides. According to ProFootballTalk when the hearing concluded, the league failed to include evidence that the quarterback made threats, engaged in violence, used force or coerced.More Deshaun Watson Coverage:Watson Plaintiff: ‘I’m Not a Sex Worker. I Am a Massage Therapist.’Houston PD Detective Testified She Believes Watson Committed Crimes, per ReportThe Browns Will Never Live Down the Watson TradeWhat You Haven’t Heard—But Need to Know—About the Deshaun Watson CasesAfter the Browns Signed Deshaun Watson, a Blast Radius of ’Emotions and Anger’When Deshaun Watson Says He ’Never Disrespected’ a Woman, Do the Cleveland Browns Believe Him?