Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been the talk of the NFL world this offseason as he tries to “clear his name” from 26 women who currently have civil lawsuits against him.
Things may go from bad to worse for Watson, who discussed the possibility of the NFL potentially handing down a punishment for him ahead of the 2022 season on Tuesday.
“I can’t control that, I met with the NFL,” said Watson. “Did everything they asked me to do and answered every question truthfully. That’s all I can do, to be honest. They have to make a decision that’s best for the league.”
While Watson feels that this matter is now out of his control, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), who will be tasked with defending Watson, has a clear strategy in their defense of the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
According to Pro Football Talk, the NFLPA’s defense will be centered around the hypocrisy of Commissioner Roger Goodell in the consequences given to NFL owners that have had NFL investigations against them, which to this point have been extremely lenient.
A good example of this is Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, whose team was fined $10 million last July after the NFL’s investigation into sexual harassment claims and overall workplace malpractice within the organization.
It seems to be the best way that the NFLPA can go about defending Watson. Although he claims that he is innocent, more and more women are filing cases against Watson, which is a pretty bad look for an ongoing NFL investigation.
The NFLPA is reportedly expecting an “unprecedented” punishment to be handed down to Watson, and it remains to be seen exactly how severe that could be.
Calvin Ridley saw a suspension of a year for his role in gambling on the NFL while injured for the Atlanta Falcons, but that seemed like the NFL made an example for him that gambling would not be tolerated in the league.
The word “unprecedented” could mean over a year-long suspension for Watson.
There may be more dominos yet to fall, but it’s clear that the NFL means business when it comes to Deshaun Watson.