Report: The NFL is seeking an indefinite suspension of Deshaun Watson, lasting at least a year

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A slow Saturday on the NFL calendar has improved significantly.

Knowing that coverage of anything Deshaun Watson-related was inevitable, the NFL steered the emergence of reports into a window where they could be less noticed.

And here we are. At 6:05 p.m. ET, the Wall Street Journal posted an article by Andrew Beaton that includes this most remarkable nugget. The league is “pushing for an indefinite suspension, which would last no less than a year for Watson.”

Watson and the NFL Players Association, which is required by federal law to defend Watson and all members of the union, will fight back. As PFT has reported, it will argue, among other things, that the proposed punishment is inconsistent with discipline, or lack thereof, for several owners who allegedly violated the Personal Conduct Policy. Beaton’s article confirms this particular report.

By pushing for an indefinite suspension, the league would be protected from the possibility of more women suing Watson by mid-March 2023, when all relevant two-year statutes of limitations expire – provided Watson stopped the practice of securing private massages via social media after the first lawsuit was filed in the March 2021 was submitted.

The league’s case will focus on five of the women who have sued Watson, Beaton said. These cases are corroborated by text messages and other evidence. “League officials believe these allegations in particular are objectively provable and demonstrate a clear and disturbing pattern of Watson’s behavior,” Beaton writes.

Multiple reports have scheduled Judge Sue L. Robinson’s hearing to begin on Tuesday, June 28th. It’s unclear how long the process will take. An attempt by the NFLPA to defend Watson based on the actions and consequences of owners like Daniel Snyder, Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones will inevitably delay the process. Despite this, Watson has every right to argue that his punishment should be proportionate to other cases.

Along the way, the NFLPA could uncover some evidence that would be of particular interest to the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Reform, which is trying to gain full access to the investigation being conducted by Attorney Beth Wilkinson into the commanders and owner Daniel Snyder were carried out. It’s impossible to know if Snyder’s punishment was an appropriate fit for the misconduct without knowing the full scope of the misconduct.

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