NFL ‘more likely’ to accept 6-8 game Deshaun Watson suspension to avoid appeal

As the National Football League and Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson argue in front of former federal Judge Sue Robinson about the sexual misconduct allegations made against him, the NFL might already be bracing for a shorter suspension than it wants.

The NFL concluded its investigation into more than two dozen accusations of sexual misconduct and assault against Watson over the past two years. Under the new NFL collective bargaining agreement, commissioner Roger Goodell no longer has unilateral authority to impose suspensions on players who are accused of violating the personal conduct policy.

As a result, the NFL is presenting its case to Robinson with its findings from the investigation. After negotiations with the NFLPA, representing Watson failed, following the league’s insistence on a year-long suspension at minimum.

While the league is still pushing Robinson as the independent arbitrator to recommend a year-long suspension, with Watson’s defense arguing for no discipline, it seems the NFL might already be preparing for a much shorter ban.

According to Rob Maadi of the Associated Press, the NFL is more likely to abide by Robinson’s judgment if she rules that a 6-8 game suspension is warranted based on her findings.

  • Deshaun Watson contract: $1.035 base salary (2022), $46 million base salary (2023-’26)

When multiple teams were competing with the Browns to acquire Watson, the expectation was he would only be sidelined for a maximum of eight games. However, that changed when more accusers came forward.

Author: Lucy Green