Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary hearing with the NFL concluded Thursday, opening up the possibility of a potential suspension to be ruled at any point.
The hearing lasted three days, with Watson’s team and the NFL each testifying and making arguments to independent arbiter and U.S. District Court judge Sue Robinson. A source with knowledge of the hearings shared pertinent information with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“First, the NFL interviewed 12 women who are making allegations against the Browns quarterback,” Florio wrote. “Five cases became the focal point of the league’s presentation.
“Second, the NFL?s case included no evidence that Watson engaged in violence, made threats, applied coercion, or used force.
“Third, the NFL admitted that the punishment it seeks (an indefinite suspension of at least one year) is unprecedented.
“Fourth, as to the argument that any punishment imposed on Watson must be proportional to punishment imposed on owners who may have violated the Personal Conduct Policy, the NFL admitted that its director of security investigated the allegations of solicitation made against (New England) Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and that no punishment was imposed.”
Watson’s case is the first of it’s kind under the league’s new CBA, with Robinson called upon to hand down an initial ruling before either side makes a decision as to whether or not they’d like to appeal. It is expected that the NFL would not appeal a lenient punishment, but Watson’s camp would appeal one that could be considered significant.
It was reported before the hearings that the NFL would be looking for a suspension of up to one year. There is no timetable for a decision.