The Cleveland Browns are expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.
With training camp around the corner, the Browns and the entire NFL have their eyes trained on Sue L. Robinson, the disciplinary officer charged with determining a punishment for Deshaun Watson.
Watson, who at one point this offseason faced 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault or misconduct, is expected to receive a lengthy suspension for the 2022 season. In the event Watson is banned for any lengthy period of time, the Browns will sign a quarterback for added insurance behind new backup Jacoby Brissett, according to Cleveland.com.
“There’s growing sentiment within league circles that Watson will play at some point this season,” wrote Mary Kay Cabot, “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.”
She noted the NFL Players Association is pushing for Watson to avoid a suspension of any length and has pointed to “the fact that several NFL owners haven’t been suspended for their direct or indirect involvement in sexual misconduct.”
While multiple grand juries ruled in March that Watson would not be indicted on criminal charges, the NFL could still punish him for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Sue L. Robinson is the jointly appointed disciplinary officer, and Goodell cannot change it if she does not issue a punishment.
Just last week, attorney Tony Buzbee announced the Houston Texans reached settlements with 30 women who alleged Watson’s former team enabled his behavior in massage sessions.
The team released a statement: