It was reported on Monday that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and the NFLPA were prepared to file a federal lawsuit against the NFL if the league ultimately decided on a full-year suspension against Watson.
This will all depend on how arbitrator Sue Robinson rules following Watson’s hearing that proceeded at the end of June, and there are now rumors that Robinson may be more lenient than many initially expected.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a source that has reviewed the materials of the case revealed that they believe Watson’s suspension will be in the range of two to eight games.
The NFL may decide that they want to appeal this type of suspension considering there have been reports that they were previously seeking a year-long suspension.
On the other hand, doing so would only amplify Watson’s case by going to federal court and putting more controversy on the NFL’s hands in the process.
Judge Robinson’s job in this case is to review the facts of the case and apply those to the terms of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy to come up with a duration.
Florio stated that one of the things in Watson’s favor is that it states in the policy that league ownership and management are “traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline”.
The NFLPA did a great job in their case defending Watson by showing instances where NFL ownership wasn’t punished at all, in the process arguing that Watson should be subject to a lesser punishment than first advertised.
Judge Robinson is expected to make her decision right around training camp, which is shortly approaching.
For the time being, it looks like Watson may get off with a lesser punishment than many believe that he should get, but this could still be a long drawn-out battle between Watson and the NFL moving forward.