Mere hours before Deshaun Watson is set to learn his fate, he and his lawyers have been busy behind the scenes.
The Cleveland Browns QB reportedly agreed to settle three of the remaining four active civil lawsuits against him, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee told ESPN’s John Barr early Monday.
Sue L. Robinson, the disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the NFL and players’ union, is expected to issue a decision at some point on Monday. The NFLPA already made it clear it won’t appeal the suspension and hopes Roger Goodell does the same.
“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding,” the union said in a statement. “First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation. A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially. Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”
Robinson has not hinted at the severity of the punishment after the league launched an investigation that lasted well over a year into the sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against the Browns’ quarterback.
There is a feeling within the Cleveland organization that Watson may receive a suspension of four to eight games, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Twenty-five women filed civil lawsuits against Watson starting in March 2021. Watson agreed to settle 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits in June 2022. The detailed, graphic accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurred during massage therapy sessions range from Watson allegedly refusing to cover his genitals to the quarterback “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”
The quarterback has denied all allegations against him, and two Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges earlier this spring.