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Deshaun Watson’s hearing concludes: What happens now?

The Browns QB must now wait to hear what if any kind of punishment he will face, following the conclusion of his hearing.

Deshaun Watson pasaría un segundo año fuera de la NFL
Nick CammettAFP

With the controversial quarterback having now seen his disciplinary hearing come to a conlcusion, the focus now turns to what kind of punishment he will face.

Deshaun Watson’s hearing has concluded

Its been over a year since the NFL launched an invesitgation into the conduct of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. On Thursday that investigation came to an end in the form of a hearing, which will now determine whether or not Watson will face suspension for violating NFL’s personal conduct policy. The hearing itself got off and running on Tuesday and concluded three days later after the NFL and NFLPA each laid out their cases.

With that it is understood that Watson’s fate now rests in the hands of the league’s jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson. It is in fact Robinson who will be tasked with making the final decision as to whether or not Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct. Should that be the verdict she will have to determine who long his suspension will be. Watson was of course facing some 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits, before that quantity was reduced to four after he and his legal representatives reached confidential settlements with 20 of the women. It should be noted that regardless of the settlements, the league has still pressed for an indefinite suspension of the player that would last at least one season in its entirety.

If Deshaun Watson is punished, how and when will it be?

With regards to when a final decision on Watson will be made, it could yet be a few weeks before Watson and the rest of us learn what will become of him. According to reports, post-hearing briefs for both sides are set for the week of July 11th which would suggest that any official verdict won´t come until somewhere after that date. There are, however, two likely outcomes in the case of Deshaun Watson and we´ve broken them down for you right here:

Deshaun Watson receives lengthy suspension

Should it come to pass that Watson is found guilty of violating the aforementioned personal conduct policy, it will undoubtedly be suspended. Additionally, when we consider the quantity and gravity of the accusations levelled against him it seems logical that the NFL is actively seeking an indefinite suspension which would last at least one year. Interestingly, Robinson is not obligated to follow that route and could well decide to suspend the Browns player for whatever length of time she sees fit. Assuming this is what comes to pass, then it becomes an open and shut case.

Deshaun Watson doesn’t have to face any sanction

While it may seem shocking to some, there is the possibility that Robinson could decide that Watson did NOT violate the personal conduct policy. In such a scenario it would see her ruling that Watson doesn’t deserve a suspension. If that is where we end up that expect to see the QB in a Browns jersey when the new season kicks off. Granted this is highly unlikely at this point, but one can expect the NFLPA to argue that Watson’s punishment should be proportional to the sanctions and suspensions given to a number of franchise owners in recent months. We will surely be hearing the name of Robert Kraft in the coming weeks in relation to his alleged incident at a massage parlor, as well as that of Daniel Snyder and the workplace conduct scandal in Washington.

Where does the Deshaun Watson go post decision?

With most expecting a lengthy suspension to be handed down, it´s important to note that if that’s the way the cookie finally crumbles it won’t necessarily be the end of the whole scenario. Should the two sides be unable to reach an agreement about the length of Watson’s suspension then they will be able to appeal the decision. The NFL could forseeably appeal if the quarterback’s suspension is less than a full season. Needless to say the same will likely occur from the NFLPA should the suspension be a long one. One important point to note, however, is that should this process go to appeals, the NFL would have the upper hand as league commissioner Roger Goodell or an individual of his choosing.


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