Browns QB Deshaun Watson informed by Judge Sue L. Robinson he should be suspended six games
Parties involved in the disciplinary hearing for Deshaun Watson have been informed by former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson that the Cleveland Browns quarterback should be suspended six games for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, per a source.
NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reports that there will be no additional fine accompanied with the suspension, according to a source.
The NFL Players Association issued a statement on Sunday stating that it would not appeal Robinson's ruling. Rapoport reported it is currently unclear if the league will appeal the ruling. The NFL has three days to appeal Robinson's decision.
Any potential appeal to Robinson's ruling would be handled by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or by his designee, per the 2020 collective bargaining agreement. The ensuing ruling would then be final.
"The reason it's set up this way with the appeals officer, the disciplinary officer, making the initial decision and then Roger Goodell or his designee handle any appeal, is because the NFL Players Association wanted to avoid situations where the NFL suspended players based on a lack of evidence," Pelissero explained Monday on NFL Network. "In this case, had Sue L. Robinson ruled that the NFL did not prove any violation, then the NFL could not have appealed that. There would be no suspension; the process would be over. In this case, she did find that there was sufficient evidence to justify a six-game suspension."
Pelissero added: "If Goodell or his designee ends up increasing this discipline, I would certainly expect the NFLPA to examine all options, including suing in federal court."
Watson's suspension follows his three-day hearing in Delaware earlier this summer before Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA. The disciplinary hearing concluded on June 30. Rapoport reported Monday that the league presented the cases from five women to Robinson during the hearing.
It was announced on June 21 that Watson had reached confidential settlements with 20 of the 24 women who filed civil lawsuits alleging he committed sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. On Monday, attorney Tony Buzbee announced three of the four remaining civil cases against Watson had been resolved.
The initial lawsuits against Watson were filed in March 2021, and the league investigation into the allegations against him commenced that same month.