How could Deshaun Watson or the NFLPA fight Peter Harvey’s suspension ruling?
It’s almost D-Day in the appeal process and as things stand, it’s going to be all but impossible for the player and the NFLPA, to prevevnt the NFL from getting what it wants.
With will almost certainly be a ruling in the league’s favor, we take a look at what if any options Deshaun Watson and NFLPA have in their fight against a one-year suspension.
What’s the current situation with Deshaun Watson?
On Wednesday, reports suggested that the likelihood of the NFL’s appointed appeals officer Peter Harvey ruling in favor of Deshaun Watson being suspended for an entire year, is very high. Indeed, it was even suggested that said suspension should be effective immediately. As things stand, we know that the NFL has in fact requested a one-year suspension and with a Friday night deadline looming, we’ve not got long to wait. To be clear, that would mean that Watson would not be available for the Browns season opener against the Jaguars. That is a possibility, that the NFLPA has made clear they are prepared for. “We are ready if he does,” the association stated.
What can Deshaun Watson or the NFLPA do?
To be frank, there isn’t much either party can do in the way of fighting against this. Though the idea of litigation had initially been floated by the NFLPA, they appear to have walked back on the notion in recent days. Regardless, the real problem here is time or rather lack thereof. We can safely assume, that Harvey’s ruling will come sometime within the next 24 hours and what’s more is that you can bet the NFL is going to do everything it can, to delay it as much as possible. Should they succeed in doing so, even if the NFLPA plans to sue, they will have little time to do so before the deadline, effectively snuffing out any small chance Watson might have of overturning the decision.
At this point, it’s worth noting the manner in which Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about Watson earlier this week. You don’t have to read between any lines, to understand that the league has no intention of seeing Deshaun Watson suited up and playing in any of their stadiums. Indeed, one can imagine that the less Watson is seen in anything NFL related, the happier the league will be. That’s all to say, that given the league’s track record when it comes to players it’s decided to black-list - ask Colin Kaepernick - plus the current legal situation in play, there aren’t many reasons to believe that this ends with Deshaun Watson escaping a year-long ban. At that point, the only remaining question is, ‘How will the Cleveland Browns cope?