Tomorrow, the NFL is set to convene a disciplinary hearing which will determine the length and severity of punishment for former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. At this hearing, the NFL is expected, as learned by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal on Saturday, to seek an indefinite suspension of at least one full year for Watson as punishment for his involvement in the alleged sexual assault and misconduct of 24 massage therapists.
Per Schefter, the NFL intends to argue for a “lengthy” suspension during the hearing. The league intends to cite testimony from some of Watson’s accusers, per the report. The Washington Post’s Mark Maske and the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Beaton report that the NFL plans to argue for an indefinite suspension of at least one year.
Should we expect the NFL to get what it wants? Probably not. After spending time picking out an independent arbiter Sue Robinson to hear the case, if she rules that Watson should be suspended for any amount of time less than that, the NFL would probably not want to step on Robinson’s toes after deciding, along with the NFLPA, that she was the right person for the job. Bad optics. And if you know one thing for certain it’s that the NFL hates to look bad.
I don’t want to be fair to the NFL but to be fair, it would be difficult to tell whether they really wanted to suspend Watson that long or if this is merely an attempt by The Shield to get ahead of whatever controversy will come when Robinson rules by saying “See?! We wanted to hit him with a harder punishment but our hands are tied! Oh well,” as they skip along merrily to their next atrocity; one which will probably involve Dan Snyder.
As to what Watson’s punishment will be, I and the rest of us on the masthead don’t really want to speculate on that because it’s an ongoing investigation. But because now is the time of monsters, it’s hard to imagine at this point in time that any kind of meaningful justice will be served.