Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns won't have to wait much longer to find out if the star quarterback will be disciplined by the NFL and how long a suspension could last.
According to Rusty Hardin, Watson's lawyer, they'll know well before the start of training camp for the 2022 season whether or not Watson will be punished for the 22 civil lawsuits filed against him for sexual misconduct.
"We should know what their position is initially sometime in June, and then everybody will figure out if there’s going to be a hearing about it or can people work things out, or whatever,” Hardin told Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot on Friday evening. “The only thing that’s certain is that they want to try to get everything done this summer — and earlier than later in the summer. Past that, we don’t really have any firm dates or possibilities.”
According to Hardin, the former Clemson quarterback met with NFL investigators last week for three days of questions. Since the investigation is ongoing, he could have another meeting with the league before a decision is made this summer.
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It's unknown at this time what discipline the NFL could induce. Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be turned over to former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson, who will decide if there should be punishment or not.
If Watson faces a suspension or other action, he can appeal the decision, and then NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the final say as to what will happen with Watson.
“This idea that (the NFL) hasn’t aggressively investigated this is totally, totally false as evidenced by the fact he’s already spent three days with them,’’ Hardin said. “They’ve obviously done a bunch of research and done a lot of work themselves and they say need to do some more.”
Watson is currently in the Bahamas with many of his teammates on a bonding trip. The Browns are scheduled to have 10 practices next week as part of Organized Team Activities, in which Watson can participate.
Watson played at Clemson from 2014-16 and led the Tigers to a national championship in his final season. He was selected in the first round by the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft and was traded to the Browns in March.
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