Report: Deshaun Watson, NFL discipline talks ‘fell apart’ over big issue
Deshaun Watson has avoided criminal charges and settled the majority of the sexual assault lawsuits against him, but the Cleveland Browns star is still facing a lengthy suspension. While there have been discussions about a possible disciplinary settlement between the NFL, NFL Players Association and Watson’s camp, that may not be a realistic outcome.
USA Today’s Josina Anderson was told on Thursday that talks about an agreement for Watson’s discipline “fell apart” over the length of a potential suspension.
I'm told there've been recent attempts by the NFL, the NFLPA & Deshaun Watson's advisors to negotiate a discipline settlement. However talks involving a potential number of games missed "fell apart" not being on the same page. As of now, process moves forward, per league sources.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 23, 2022
Sports legal expert Michael McCann noted that Watson’s side may be more motivated to reach a settlement. Once a disciplinary officer that was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA reaches a decision, Roger Goodell or someone chosen by the NFL commissioner would hear any appeal from Watson. The quarterback’s chances of having any suspension reduced or overturned would not be great.
A negotiated settlement on a Deshaun Watson suspension would bring closure for him and NFL–there'd be no appeal and no lawsuit thereafter. But two sides might be far apart on a number. NFL has leverage since under disciplinary policy, Goodell or someone he picks hears an appeal. https://t.co/99P1b0fpai
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) June 23, 2022
The NFL is said to be seeking a lengthy suspension for Watson. There have been many times in the past where players are not charged criminally but are still suspended. That is likely to be the case with Watson, it is simply a matter of how long.