With the NFL now appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, his punishment is likely to get worse in the coming weeks.
The NFL originally wanted to suspend Watson for at least a year, and now, the league is gunning to do just that. CBS Sport NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. Although Judge Sue Robinson ordered the six-game suspension, Roger Goodell (or someone he designates) will now have the final say in the case, as he oversees the appeals process.
The NFL filing an appeal in a case where the NFL is in charge of the appeals process makes it hard to imagine a scenario where the NFL doesn’t add a significant number of games to Watson’s suspension.
All of this could have been avoided if Watson had settled his case with the NFL, which he had had a chance to do before Robinson handed down his ruling on Monday. According to to ESPN.comIn the days leading up to Robinson’s ruling, both the NFL and Watson’s camp tried to work out a solution.
Although the NFL wanted to see Watson suspended for a full year, the league was willing to reduce that number through a settlement. According to ESPN And Game chartThe NFL’s final settlement offer was this: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and fined $8 million to $10 million.
Watson’s side turned down the offer, unwilling to accept any deal that would suspend the quarterback for more than six to eight games. Watson was also not ready to accept a heavy fine. According to ESPN.com.
Basically, Watson gambled by not accepting the NFL’s offer, and it looks like he’s going to lose that gamble. Had Watson accepted the 12-game suspension, he could have put all of this behind him, but instead, he now faces at least a one-year indefinite suspension.
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At this point, it feels like it Best case Watson’s display is now a 12-game suspension. His six-game suspension is currently on appeal, which actually gives the two sides more time to work out a possible settlement, meaning Watson could get another chance to sign with the NFL.
That the NFL was willing to agree to a potential settlement of a 12-game suspension — rather than a one-year suspension — was no coincidence. According to Yahoo SportsThe NFL absolutely does not want to see Watson play Texans One way to prevent him from doing that in Week 13 is to suspend him for 12 games (if he serves a 12-game suspension, the Texans game will be the final game he has to sit out).
If there is no settlement and Watson’s suspension is extended by the NFL, there is a very real possibility the case could end up in federal court. However, CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson reported on Thursday Watson’s camp has not decided whether to file a federal lawsuit. Watson’s legal team will wait to see what happens with the appeal, according to Anderson. If the suspension is bumped up to 12 games, they may not file a lawsuit along with it. On the other hand, if he gets banned for a year or more, it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets sued.
No matter what happens, this is far from over. As for the appeals process, Watson’s camp has until Friday to respond to the NFL’s appeal. After that, the decision on Watson’s suspension falls squarely in the hands of Goodell or someone he designates to handle that decision.