A report has detailed what could happen with Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and his upcoming suspension from the NFL.
Last week it was announced that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would be suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season after Judge Sue L Robinson handed down her sentence following the accusations of sexual assault that were levied against the 26-year-old during his time with the Houston Texans.
The decision was handed out by the independent arbitrator after the NFL looked to get away from being seen as the judge, jury and executioner in legal cases following years of bad press that followed them around regarding the behaviour of a number of players in the past.
However, with the NFL making it clear throughout the proceedings that they wanted to see Watson suspended for an indefinite amount of time, likely to be the full season, they were not happy with the outcome and have decided to appeal the decision, meaning that the final verdict will be made by the league after all.
In the past, this decision would have been made by commissioner Roger Goodell. However, his decision-making is exactly what they wanted to get away from, which sort of dilutes the importance and significance of having the initial process done independently. The next stage will be handled by former Attorney General of New Jersey Peter C Harvey, a trial lawyer with ties to the NFL.
Making the most of it
The decision and appeal process has messed up the timeline for Watson and the Browns, resulting in Watson playing their preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend, as there is still a slight chance that he could play this season, so they need to give him some reps so that he isn’t caught totally flat-footed if he were to play later in the year.
And perhaps it was rust having not played at all during the 2021 season, combined with getting used to a new offensive system, or perhaps he was distracted by everything that was going on around him off the field, but Watson didn’t exactly have the best return to the football field:
Deshaun Watson 1st quarter stats:— Justin Holbrock (@NBC4Justin) August 12, 2022
1-for-5, 7 yards
And according to one report, it might be some time before he gets to see the field once again.
What’s been said?
According to a claim via ProFootballNetwork, it is seen as pretty much a guarantee that the suspension will indeed be for the full year, with their source claiming that it is a ‘slam dunk’ that Watson misses the full 17-game season and doesn’t return until 2023.
Although one previous source in the article did also claim that “I could see Harvey doubling the suspension to 12 games and going for the $8 million fine or more and the requirement of treatment”, which does further muddy the waters.
And it is this indecision that is ultimately costing the Browns valuable preparation time and clarity. Do they need to continue working with Watson, or do they need to put all focus into Jacoby Brissett and getting him ready for the season?
With the clock ticking down before the start of the regular season, there isn’t a lot of time left for them to make up their minds.