NFL disciplinary officer Sue Robinson might be taking her time to announce a decision regarding Browns QB Deshaun Watson.
But Watson and the NFLPA are wasting no time making their intentions clear.
Apparently, Watson has no interest in leaving the legal system should a lengthy suspension come down against him.
In fact, a decision by the NFLPA and Watson has apparently already been made as to next steps if Watson is suspended for a year: sue.
More Legal Trouble
On Monday, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported that Watson and the NFLPA plan to sue the NFL in federal court should he be suspended for one year.
Another note: If Watson ends up incurring the full-year suspension the #NFL is seeking – either from the arbitrator or a league appeal of Robinson’s decision – I’m told his camp and the @NFLPA have already made the decision to file a lawsuit against the league in federal court. https://t.co/KdwXJjhBz3
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) July 18, 2022
This came on the heels of Robinson also reporting that Robinson’s official decision on Watson might conflict with the start of the Browns’ training camp.
Watson and the NFL held a hearing before Robinson several weeks ago, stemming from a league investigation into Watson.
Over 20 women have come forward alleging sexual misconduct by the quarterback.
And each has provided shockingly similar accounts of Watson’s actions.
According to Jenny Vrentas of the New York Times, Watson’s behavior was enabled by the Texans when Watson was still a quarterback in Houston.
Vrentas spoke directly with several survivors, prosecutors, and league officials to compile her report.
While two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on any criminal charges, he still faced many civil suits.
And so far, Watson has settled 20 of those suits out of court.
Watson still hasn’t faced any official sanctions or punishment from the league for his behavior, however.
When the two sides met at the hearing before Robinson, the NFL requested an indefinite suspension to last no less than one year.
Watson and the Players’ Association, on the other hand, held firm in their demand for no suspension whatsoever.
Given the league’s most recent CBA, Commissioner Roger Goodell cannot levy any penalties himself.
Hence why Watson and the NFL held a hearing before Robinson.
But Goodell can alter the length of any punishment, so long as the disciplinary officer finds that a player violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
Given the NFL’s stance on Watson’s suspension, any appeal to Goodell for a shortened suspension would likely be unsuccessful.
That leaves Watson to explore his options in the American legal system.
It’s difficult to imagine what Watson and his team might allege in a legal complaint.
— Jacob Roach (@roachizm13) July 18, 2022
Back in 2016, Tom Brady filed a lawsuit in federal court after the fallout from the “Deflategate” scandal.
Brady and his team alleged abuse of discretion by Goodell, arguing that the commissioner exceeded his power according to the CBA.
But the court’s sided with the NFL, holding that Goodell did not abuse his discretion when he suspended Brady for four games.
Since then, the CBA has been amended such that Goodell no longer has any direct ability to suspend players.
So it’s difficult seeing any lawsuit alleging abuse of discretion succeeding this time around when the power isn’t in Goodell’s hands anymore.
Perhaps a similar lawsuit alleging Robinson abused her discretion could be in the works?
Either way, we’re surely not close to the end of this saga.