Could Deshaun Watson get a settlement from the NFL before his suspension is announced?
Deshaun Watson’s first apology indicates a settlement window with the NFL is still a possibility. Will the NFL make that compromise?
After nineteen months of back and forth on the case of Deshaun Watson’s sexual assault allegations, the Cleveland Browns quarterback recognizes the window for a suspension settlement could still be open with the NFL.
To avoid missing the entire season, Watson is willing to accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine by the league, which is seeking a minimum suspension of 17 games and a requirement of undergoing evaluation and treatment determined by medical experts before he could be reinstated.
Watson issued his first apology to all the affected women earlier on Saturday indicating that he’s ready to “move forward” and work on his personal growth.
While a settlement has always been a possibility, the question is whether the NFL would make that compromise. It is not clear if there are active discussions between both parties.
Meanwhile, on August 1 federal judge Sue L. Robinson, who was responsible for Watson’s case, issued Watson a six-day suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Watson was accused of lewd sexual behavior during massage appointments with two dozen women during his time with the Houston Texans.
The NFL appealed Robinson’s ruling 48 hours later, indicating that the punishment wasn’t enough.
Watson’s case is now in Peter C. Harvey’s hands, a former New Jersey Attorney General appointed last week by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, to handle the NFL’s appeal. Harvey’s decision “will be binding,” and could come at any moment per the collective bargaining agreement.
The NFL Players Association on the other hand, could attempt to challenge Harvey’s ruling in federal court. Reaching a settlement would avoid that.