The Cleveland Browns and quarterback Deshaun Watson are stuck in limbo. They are waiting on the appeal to his six-game suspension levied by Judge Sue L. Roberts last week. The NFL appealed the decision and instead of deciding for himself, commissioner Roger Goodell appointed former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal.
A lot of people fully expect that Harvey is going to decide to either suspend Watson for a full season or indefinitely. If that were to happen, part of the agreement states that Watson will not be allowed to practice or play in preseason games, according to Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot. However, if Watson is suspended for a specific number of games, the suspension will begin on cutdown day, Aug. 30.
Some details in here: If #Browns Deshaun Watson is suspended indefinitely for a min/yr, policy says no more training camp or preseason games; if he gets a specific number of games, suspension begins on cutdown day Aug. 30 https://t.co/tIx1LDFbNR
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 10, 2022
Deshaun Watson is currently scheduled to start the Browns' first preseason game Friday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Considering the past relationship between Harvey and Goodell, most people believe the commissioner is going to get his wishes. He made them known quite bluntly earlier this week. Goodell stated that he believed Judge Robinson spelled out what he did very clearly and that he deserved at least a year-long suspension. He went so far as to say as Watson's behavior was “egregious” and “predatory.” Those are some serious words that illustrate exactly how Goodell feels about the situation.
The NFLPA had initially stated they were going to fight if Watson received a year-long suspension. Then in an interesting twist, the day before Judge Robinson's ruling, they announced they would be willing to accept whatever her decision was. The decision came out, and the backlash ensued.
The current collective bargaining agreement allows the commissioner the right to pass judgement himself on the matter through appeal. However, he chose to remain impartial, at least publicly.