The Deshaun Watson investigation could be coming to a close, and the NFL is preparing for an appropriate punishment.
According to reports, the league is looking to suspend Watson “indefinitely” and with a minimum of at least a one year suspension. Watson is expected to attend a league disciplinary hearing starting Tuesday where the league is expected to argue for the lengthy suspension.
Late last week, Watson settled with 20 of the 24 women that have accused him of sexual misconduct.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL no longer has an overwhelming hand on controversial discipline. An independent arbitrator is said to oversee the Watson punishment and rule on what they feel is an appropriate punishment.
The league “leaking” that they are looking for an indefinite suspension is important in the court of public opinion that has been very much against the league in these type of cases.
With the league recommending an indefinite suspension, it allows them breathing room to say, if the ruling is for a suspension that is less than a year, that they looked for the harshest penalty possible.
The NFL and the Independent Arbitrator
According to additional reports, the league is focusing on the testimony of six women with the most evidence against the Cleveland Browns quarterback that consists of text messages, and other pieces of proof.
Former federal Judge Sue L. Robinson has been appointed as the independent arbitrator for the NFL that will oversee the hearing Tuesday, and offer her recommendation on an appropriate punishment.
It is the first case she will hear as independent arbitrator.
Watson signed a five year, $230 million, fully guaranteed contract with Cleveland early in the off-season. As a clause in his contract, Watson will only make $1 million this season to protect the quarterback from suspension.
It means if he were to miss the full year, he would lost just $55,556 for every game in which he’s suspended.
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