What's Robert Kraft got to do with it?
While Deshaun Watson is reaching confidential settlements with "all but four'' civil lawsuits against him, as opposing attorney Tony Buzbee announced on Tuesday, other NFL powerhouses may be waiting on what the league plans to do with its own punishment power.
And New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is allegedly one of those "powerhouses.''
First, as it regards Watson: “We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements,” Buzbee said. “Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed.”
There are more shoes to drop here, other plaintiffs for one, and the NFL's plan for another. After all, it's been almost a month since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league was "nearing the end of the investigation" into former Houston Texans quarterback Watson. But some clarity seems to be on the way.
Whether the NFL timeline was extended after two more civil cases alleging sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault by massage therapists were filed (with a further two expected soon) against the Cleveland Browns quarterback, taking the total to 24 lawsuits, is unknown.
Regardless, according to The Washington Post: "The NFL will argue that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson should receive a 'significant' suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.''
Could that be a one-year suspension? And if it is something that harsh, will NFL owners feel the repercussions?
The NFLPA is already preparing to launch "an aggressive defense on Watson’s behalf" should the NFL attempt to hit Watson with an unpaid suspension, per Pro Football Talk. The player's union reportedly plans to use how the NFL dealt with cases surrounding Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and yes, Patriots owner Kraft, as comparisons.
If PFT's report is true, it does not likely have ramifications for Kraft and his peers; the point wouldn't be to get Kraft in trouble, but rather, to keep Watson out of it.