The Deshaun Watson saga gets more twisted by the day, as per the most recent allegations, and the groundbreaking report by the New York Times, the number of women the quarterback has allegedly gotten massages from is as high as 66, and the lawsuit count stands at 24, for now. The NFL was nearing its investigation before these two new cases popped up but it appears that this will not hinder the pace of their final report before they announce what disciplinary action they will be taking to punish Watson.
Nearly 15 months later, the league will try and argue that the QB deserves a ‘significant’ suspension, though there are no criminal charges, he can still be punished for violating the personal conduct policy. An insider from Watson’s camp told the Washington Post that the league will attempt to get him suspended for an entire season but nothing can be said with certainty as of now. If you are thinking about why the NFL will ‘try and argue,’ and not just straight up suspend him for an entire year, there is a clause as per the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) that prohibits them from doing so.
The NFL does not have the sole authority to punish Deshaun Watson in this situation:
The news comes days after Pro Football Talk’s report indicating that the NFL is seeking a significant suspension and that they want the quarterback off the field until all the 24 civil suits are settled or resolved. Since March of 2021, Watson has not been playing. The league is arguing for a ‘significant’ suspension because under the old CBA, the Commissioner had the power to hand out suspensions but under the most recent one, the power is vested in a disciplinary officer who is appointed jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA. In this case, it is the U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson.
Once she takes a call on this case, any of the parties involved have the right to appeal it. The biggest question is when will she take a call we still do not have an answer to that question but the league will try to have this sorted by the time training camp commences on July 27th. The Cleveland Browns also need a solid answer because their entire season hangs in the balance due to the uncertainty surrounding their quarterback for the upcoming season.
Watson came out this week and addressed the media but it was nothing new, he came out and recited the same answers that Rusty Hardin and his team have made him mug up. “I’ve been honest and I’ve been truthful, I never forced anyone, I never assaulted anyone. I’ve been saying it from the beginning, and I’m gonna continue to do that until all the facts come out,” he stated.
Two more lawsuits are expected to be filed against Watson taking the count to 26, Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the plaintiffs has suggested that two more lawsuits are in the making and there is a chance that more could follow. If the quarterback gets suspended and cases continue to pile up against him, the league has the liberty to further discipline him in addition to the original punishment but that is highly unlikely as such an occurrence is unprecedented in NFL and sports history.