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‘Growing sentiment’ that Deshaun Watson will play in 2022

Vincent Frank

We’re likely going to hear something about a Deshaun Watson suspension at some point this month ahead of NFL training camps opening.

Acquired by the Cleveland Browns from the Houston Texans during the spring, Watson is facing allegations from north of 20 women of sexual misconduct/assault.

The NFL just wrapped up a Watson disciplinary hearing with Sue L. Robinson acting as the jointly appointed disciplinary officer. The league has been pushing for an indefinite ban of at least a calendar year despite the fact that Watson isn’t facing criminal charges.

According to this note from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Robinson could very well opt for a shorter suspension.

“There’s growing sentiment within league circles that Watson will play at some point this season despite the NFL arguing for an indefinite suspension of at least the full season with a chance to apply for reinstatement afterwards. The NFL Players Association has fought for no suspension at all based in part on the fact that several NFL owners haven’t been suspended for their direct or indirect involvement in sexual misconduct.”

Mary Kay Cabot report on deshaun Watson

This comes on the heels of Watson’s former Texans team settling lawsuits with all 30 of the women who have accused the quarterback of wrongdoing. Watson himself still has four outstanding lawsuits after settling 20 out of court earlier this summer.

Related: Deshaun Watson and NFL’s highest-paid QBs

Cleveland Browns want quick ruling on Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson
Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Both the NFL and Watson’s camp had a July 11 deadline to file post-hearing briefs to Robinson with the expectation that she will make a ruling within the next couple weeks. If Robinson opts against suspending Watson, thre’s nothing commissioner Roger Goodell and Co. can do.

However, there’s a reasonable expectation that Watson will face some sort of suspension. Recent reports suggest that it could be six games.

After giving up three first-round picks and change for Watson, the Browns are obviously expecting a lot from him. Remember, the former first-round pick sat out the 2021 season after requesting a trade from the Texans and with these allegations being levied in his direction.

Cleveland just traded Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers. This leaves Jacoby Brissett as the presumptive starter should Watson be suspended. Needless to say, Watson and the Browns want a quick determination to be made so that they can plan accordingly.