Browns quarterback Deshaun WatsonHe apologized to the women, declaring for months that he had done nothing wronghad an impact“By his demeanor in a televised interview before his season debut Friday night. After the game, Watson had nothing to add.
Watson, via Jake Trotter of ESPN.com He declined to comment on his apologyor to further address the situation.
Watson’s sudden change comes at a time when rumors of a possible settlement with the NFL are swirling. Appellate Officer Peter Harvey, Judge Sue L. Nine days after the league exercised its right under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Personal Conduct Policy to seek a longer suspension than the six-game suspension imposed on Robinson, it has yet to issue a ruling. The policy is supposed to speed up the appeals process, but it has no time frame for a decision.
As a source explained Friday, Harvey is delaying the ruling to give the NFL and the NFL Players Association a chance to reach a settlement.
The league currently holds all the cards. However, a settlement would avoid a potential challenge to the suspension in federal court. The NFL hopes to avoid arguments that compare Watson’s punishment to the discipline (or lack thereof) experienced by owners for actual or potential violations. Under the Personal Conduct Policy, franchisees must be held to a high standard.
Judge Robinson found Watson guilty of four counts of nonviolent sexual assault. Those findings are subject to an appeals process. She also found he had not been truthful with investigators and described the behavior as “extremely bad” and “predatory.”
Watson is reportedly willing to accept an eight-game suspension and a $5 million fine. The question is whether he will step up in any way to resolve the situation – and whether the league will go down to a possible floor of 12 games.
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