February 21, 2024

With the NFL appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, there’s a very good chance his suspension could get worse in the coming weeks.

The NFL originally wanted Watson banned for at least a year, and now, the league will shoot to actually do it, according to CBS Sport NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. Although Judge Sue Robinson ordered the six-game suspension, Roger Goodell (or someone he designates) will now have the final say in the case because he is the one overseeing the appeals process.

The NFL filing an appeal in a case where the NFL is in charge of the appeal process makes it hard to imagine a scenario where the NFL doesn’t add a significant number of games to Watson’s suspension.

Watson could have avoided all of this if he had settled his case with the NFL and had the chance to do just that before Robinson issued her judgment Monday. According on ESPN.comin the days leading up to Robinson’s verdict, both the NFL and Watson’s camp tried to find a solution.

Although the NFL wanted to see Watson suspended for a full year, the league was willing to lower that number in a deal. According ESPN and Sports Illustratedthe NFL’s final settlement offer was this: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and also fined $8 million to $10 million.

Watson’s team rejected the offer because it was unwilling to accept any deal that would suspend the quarterback for more than six to eight games. Watson was also unwilling to accept a heavy fine, according to ESPN.com.

Basically, Watson took a bet by not accepting the NFL’s offer, and it looks more and more like he’s going to lose that bet. Had Watson accepted the 12-game ban, he could have put all of that behind him, but instead, he could now be hit with an indefinite ban of at least a year.

At this point, it feels like the best case The script for Watson is now a 12 game suspension. With the six-game suspension currently under appeal, that actually gives the two sides more time to work out a potential settlement, meaning Watson may have another chance to strike a deal with the NFL.

The fact that the NFL was willing to agree to a 12-game suspension in a potential settlement — rather than a one-year suspension — is no accident. According on Yahoo Sportsthe NFL absolutely does not want to see Watson play the Texans in Week 13, and one way to prevent him from doing so would be to suspend him for 12 games (If he were to receive a 12 game suspension, the Texans game would was the last game he would have to sit out).

If there is no settlement and Watson’s suspension ends up being extended by the NFL, there is a very good chance this case will end up in federal court. However, CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson reported on Thursday that Watson’s camp has not made a decision on whether to file a federal lawsuit. According to Anderson, Watson’s legal team will wait to see what happens on appeal. If the suspension is 12 games, they might just go with it and not file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if he gets banned for a year or more, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a lawsuit filed.

Whatever happens, this is far from over. As for the appeal process, Watson’s camp has until Friday to respond to the NFL’s appeal. After that, the decision to suspend Watson will fall into the hands of Goodell or someone he designates to make the decision.

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