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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson gets six-game suspension from NFL

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

An independent arbitrator has recommended a six-game suspension for Deshaun Watson over sexual assault allegations.

Arbitrator Sue L. Robinson ruled that Watson should be suspended six games for violations of the league’s personal conduct policy. The Cleveland Browns quarterback will not face any additional fine, but will be required to receive massages from team-approved masseuses only.

The NFL does have the right to appeal the length of the suspension. It is unclear if it will do so, but according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, it had been seeking an indefinite suspension.

Previous reports indicated that Watson would aggressively fight an indefinite suspension.

As things stand, Watson will play the majority of games in 2022 and will also be clear to take part in the playoffs, should the Browns make it that far. From the player’s perspective, this is an outcome he and his camp should be very pleased by.

Watson was accused of inappropriate behavior during massages by 24 masseuses who filed civil suits against the quarterback. The vast majority of Watson’s accusers have settled out of court. The NFL narrowed its focus to five of those cases when considering potential discipline for Watson.

NFLPA hints they are expecting short suspension for Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The NFLPA dropped a hint on Sunday night that they are expecting a small punishment for Deshaun Watson.

Former federal judge Sue Robinson was appointed the disciplinary officer for the Watson matter. Robinson reportedly told both the NFL and NFLPA that her decision about the discipline will come on Monday.

Ahead of the anticipated announcement, the NFLPA issued a statement. Their statement calls for both sides to accept Robinson’s decision.

“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding,” the statement began. “First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation. A former Federal Judge – appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL – held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially.

“Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”

That seems very much like a strong, preemptive strike by the NFLPA.

Why would they aggressively come out and tell the NFL to accept Robinson’s penalty if they didn’t have a hint that it was going to be very favorable to the Browns quarterback? Both sides have the opportunity to appeal Robinson’s decision to the commissioner, which explains why the NFLPA wants the league to accept the discipline.

Pro Football Talk reported Sunday that there are some expectations the suspension will be between 2-8 games.

Deshaun Watson’s suspension announcement date reportedly revealed

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly going to have an answer very soon regarding the length of Deshaun Watson’s suspension.

NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson is expected to notify the team of Watson’s suspension length on Monday, according to CBS Sports HQ’s Josina Anderson.

“I’m told relevant parties have already been notified that Sue Robinson is currently expected to inform them of the decision in the Deshaun Watson proceeding by some time Monday, per league sources,” Anderson tweeted on Sunday.

Anderson’s report lines up with a report from Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com on Saturday which revealed that the decision could come as soon as this week.

Watson has met with Robinson multiple times. She was presented findings from an NFL-conducted investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Watson. The NFL and NFL Players Association jointly appointed Robinson as the disciplinary officer under the latest collective bargaining agreement.

While Watson’s suspension is likely to be substantial, it may not be for a full season. Even so, the Browns have prepared themselves by signing a former first-round pick for some added depth at the quarterback position.

Report reveals when Deshaun Watson suspension should be announced

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have been awaiting word on a Deshaun Watson suspension for some time now, and a new report suggests a possible timetable for when final word could come.

The NFL’s ruling, decided by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, could come early next week, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. However, this is not a guarantee, and the league itself has no say in the timetable of the decision.

Watson has met with Robinson multiple times for questioning, and it appears that nothing else needs to be done before a final decision can be rendered. Reports indicate that the suspension will likely be significant, but not a full season.

Watson has been sued by two dozen women alleging sexual assault while the quarterback was a member of the Houston Texans. Watson has since settled the majority of those suits out of court.

Deshaun Watson may have 1 big incentive to accept suspension

Deshaun Watson in the rain

Jan 27, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; AFC quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson will likely be suspended at some point in the coming weeks, and there have been reports that the Cleveland Browns star plans to file a lawsuit if he does not feel the length of the ban is appropriate. However, Watson may have some serious financial incentive to accept the punishment and move on.

The NFL conducted an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Watson and has presented findings to former U.S. district judge Sue. L. Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association as the disciplinary officer under the latest collective bargaining agreement. The NFL is said to be seeking a suspension of at least a full season. Either side can appeal if it is not satisfied with Robinson’s ruling. One recent report said Watson is planning to file a lawsuit if he is suspended for a year.

Watson’s base salary for 2022 is just over $1 million. Many believe he and the Browns intentionally structured the deal that way when Watson agreed to his $230 million, fully guaranteed extension. If Watson were forced to miss some or all of the 2022 season, his forfeited game checks would not amount to much. That is where the risk with a lawsuit comes in.

If Watson tries to sue the NFL, his case could drag into a second season the way Tom Brady’s Deflategate lawsuit did. Brady eventually lost. Should Watson sue and meet the same fate, he might have to start serving his suspension in 2023 when his base salary is $46 million.

That is something Watson will almost certainly consider. For what it’s worth, one NFL insider does not expect the suspension to be as long as many have predicted.

H/T https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-insider-notes-why-kyler-murrays-extension-shouldnt-impact-lamar-jackson-plus-more-qb-decisions-looming/

Expected length of Deshaun Watson suspension revealed

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A decision on potential disciplinary action for Deshaun Watson is expected in the near future, and there has been talk that the Cleveland Browns star could face a suspension of up to a year or longer. A new report says the punishment is unlikely to be that severe.

The NFL conducted an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Watson and has presented findings to former U.S. district judge Sue. L. Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association as the disciplinary officer under the latest collective bargaining agreement. The NFL is said to be seeking a suspension of at least a full season. However, sources told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the final punishment will likely be a ban of somewhere between two and eight games.

One big argument for the NFL Players Association on behalf of Watson is that language in the Personal Conduct Policy states that team owners have “traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline.” A recent lawsuit that was filed against the Houston Texans accused the team and director of security Brent Naccara of ignoring concerns about Watson’s conduct.

The Texans have reached settlement agreements with 30 women who either filed claims or planned to file claims against the team. It is unclear if the NFL plans to investigate Naccara or the Texans. Florio notes that the NFLPA could use any leniency the NFL shows toward the Texans to argue that there is a double standard in how team officials and players are treated.

If Watson is suspended for a lengthy period of time, he is reportedly considering drastic action against the NFL.

Report: Deshaun Watson may take major action over possible suspension

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson is still waiting for word on the length of his possible suspension from the NFL. However, the Cleveland Browns quarterback is already making contingency plans for one potential scenario.

Watson is prepared to file a lawsuit against the NFL in federal court if the league hands down a full one-year suspension, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. The NFLPA is prepared to support this potential effort.

Previous reports had suggested that the league is pushing for Watson to be suspended indefinitely over multiple sexual assault allegations dating back to his time with the Houston Texans. The decision ultimately lies with the league’s independent arbitrator, Sue Robinson.

Watson is prepared to take a similar path Tom Brady did when challenging his Deflategate suspension in court. Brady’s effort was ultimately unsuccessful after an appeal, and he wound up serving the four-game suspension he initially received.

Texans settle all claims related to Deshaun Watson scandal

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans were accused by more than two dozen women of failing to act after they learned of Deshaun Watson’s alleged troubling behavior, but all of those claims have been settled.

Attorney Tony Buzbee announced on Friday that 30 women who either filed claims or planned to file claims against the Texans have agreed to settlements with the team. The terms of the agreements will not be disclosed. Buzbee said he will not offer any further comment on the Texans’ alleged role in the scandal, but he took the opportunity to criticize Watson’s legal team for the way they have handled the sexual assault allegations.

“I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, other than to say there is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so,” Buzbee wrote.

You can read the full release below:

Only one of the 30 women filed an actual lawsuit against the Texans, according to Buzbee. That lawsuit will be dismissed once the settlement is completed.

The one lawsuit made numerous troubling allegations against the Texans organization. The suit claimed the owner of a massage therapy company reached out to the team in 2020 to express concern over Watson “seeking out an unusually high number of massages from strangers on Instagram.” The Texans were also accused of trying to help cover up Watson’s alleged misconduct. You can read more details here.

Watson has settled 20 of the 24 sexual assault lawsuits that were filed against him. The fact that there were 30 women who made claims against the Texans could indicate that the Cleveland Browns star will face more lawsuits.

Texans sued over Deshaun Watson sexual assault scandal

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has been sued by two dozen women who claim the star quarterback sexually assaulted them, and the Houston Texans are now facing a lawsuit in connection with the allegations.

A lawsuit that was filed against the Texans on Monday claims some of Watson’s concerning behavior was reported to the team, but they did nothing about it. According to the suit, which was obtained by Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle, the owner of a massage therapy company called Genuine Touch, which partnered with the Texans, reported to the team in 2020 that Watson was “seeking out an unusually high number of massages from strangers on Instagram.”

Joni Honn, the owner of Genuine Touch, allegedly told the Texans she was concerned Watson was “putting himself in danger of contracting Covid, or getting himself sued.” The lawsuit also claims Genuine Touch employees described “sketchiness” and “attempts to push boundaries” from Watson.

The suit states that people with Genuine Touch were made aware that Watson was having sexual relations with at least one therapist during sessions. The Texans supposedly knew and helped Watson set up a non-disclosure agreement with therapists to avoid any issues.

“Despite this behavior, and after yet another woman questioned Watson’s behavior and threatened to expose Watson on the internet, the Houston Texans organization — rather than investigate and address Watson’s disturbing behavior — instead provided Watson with a NDA to ‘protect himself’ going forward from the random women he was finding on Instagram,” the lawsuit states.

The Texans issued a statement saying they are aware of the lawsuit and have complied with all investigations dating back to when the allegations first surfaced last year.

Watson recently settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits and has continued to deny all of the allegations. One aspect of his behavior that he cannot seem to explain is why he had so many different massage therapists in a span of a little over a year. Watson was recently asked about that, and many were not satisfied with his response.

The NFL is getting close to wrapping up its Watson investigation, and there has been talk of a significant suspension.

Report: Deshaun Watson facing huge suspension from NFL

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Reports have indicated that the NFL is seeking a significant suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. A new report has indicated just how long that suspension might be.

The NFL is pushing for an indefinite suspension for Watson, lasting a minimum of one season, according to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal. The league is expected to hand down discipline soon, perhaps as soon as the week of July 4.

Watson will not accept such a suspension without a fight. The report states that both he and the NFLPA are preparing to “vigorously fight” against that sort of suspension.

The league believes it has “damning” evidence against Watson stemming from 24 civil lawsuits and other accusers. The NFL is specifically focused on five cases that it feels have particularly strong evidence. The league wants to hand down essentially the stiffest possible ban, and wish to make it indefinite in case further revelations surface. However, the baseline of one year is the minimum the league is reportedly prepared to accept.

Watson and the NFL had been in talks over a discipline settlement, but those talks fell apart over the length of a suspension. If the league won’t take less than a one-year suspension, those discussions probably did not get far.