Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Waiting game continues in Deshan Watson discipline case

According to two people with knowledge of the matter, a decision regarding discipline for Deshan Watson is still expected before training camp, although the league has yet to conclude its investigation and has handed it over to a disciplinary officer.

The two men spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity on Friday as the investigation continues. The Cleveland Browns opens training camp for rookies on July 22 with the Giants on July 26.

Once the NFL completes its investigation, former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the players’ union, will review the findings to determine whether Watson has taken the NFL’s personal Conduct policy is violated and whether discipline is to be enforced.

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The Cleveland quarterback reached a settlement earlier this week to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct. A league official told the Associated Press that the settlement would not prevent the NFL from seeking a longer suspension.

The league and the NFL Players Association can recommend a possible length of suspension. If the union or league appeals Robinson’s decision, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his nominee “will issue a written decision that will have a full, final and complete settlement of the dispute in accordance with the terms of Article 46 in the CBA.”

It is unlikely that Watson’s legal team will be able to negotiate the terms of the suspension to avoid a decision by the disciplinary officer.

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The Browns acquired Watson from Houston for several draft picks and in March signed the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback to a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name.

In March, two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal complaints stemming from the charges.


Associated Press Sportswriter Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.


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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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