Deshaun Watson’s hearing is over; what’s happening next?
After three days of Deshaun Watson’s hearing quietly happening, it has concluded with no timetable for when the ruling will be announced.
On a day where one of the biggest NBA superstars, Kevin Durant, requested a trade from the home he’d picked in free agency, and another NBA superstar, Nikola Jokic, landed the richest contract in NBA history, the NFL is not celebrating any of their stars.
On Thursday, the disciplinary hearing regarding the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback, Deshaun Watson, concluded, with the NFL persistent about an indefinite suspension of at least one season. Watson’s legal team, on the other hand, are still arguing that this punishment is based on no evidence.
The 26-year-old, who was accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women, settled 20 of the civil lawsuits last week. Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints based on those allegations.
According to what two individuals familiar with the case told The Associated Press, Judge Sue Robinson listened to the arguments of both sides over the past three days, and will decide whether the quarterback violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
Robinson, who was a former U.S. District Judge was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association.
When will the Deshaun Watson case be over?
It is still uncertain when Robinson will make the ruling, but we know the post-hearing briefs are due the week of July 11, and the Browns are hoping to know their quarterback’s availability ahead of the July 27 training camp.
If the NFL or the union appeal Robinson’s decision, the league’s Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee will handle the appeal, and “issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” per terms of Article 46 in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement.)
This is the first time Goodell is not the one imposing discipline for personal conduct violations, and is also the first hearing for Robinson, who was the first female Chief Judge for the District of Delaware.
What happened with the Watson’s hearing?
It has been awfully quiet around the former Houston Texans’ hearing, but an anonymous source told the AP the NFL believes it presented enough evidence to guarantee Watson would be suspended this season, like committing multiple violations of the personal conduct policy. According to this individual, the NFL would also require the QB to undergo counseling before returning to the field.
Watson has maintained his innocence and denied any wrongdoing.