BEREA, OHIO - MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns listens to questions during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
NFL

Cleveland Browns On Edge As They Await Result Of Deshaun Watson’s Meeting With NFL

You can forgive Cleveland Browns fans for being a little edgy today.

When your team has mortgaged their future to acquire one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in a mega-trade, but there is a chance that the player could be suspended for a lengthy period of time, nerves are going to be fraught.

On Tuesday, Deshaun Watson, the quarterback that the Browns acquired from the Houston Texans in one of the preseason’s biggest trades, began his meetings with the NFL in Texas.

The aim? To determine whether Watson has violated any part of the personal conduct policy.

And if he has, what level of sanction should be imposed on the player.

22 Civil Lawsuits

In what has been an ongoing process led by Lisa Friel and her team of NFL

BEREA, OHIO – MARCH 25: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns is introduced by general manager Andrew Berry (L) and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

investigators. Watson and Friel’s team have begun what is expected to be a series of meetings in Texas this week.

Watson is still facing 22 civil lawsuits from a number of women who have accused him of multiple cases of inappropriate sexual behavior during massage sessions when he was quarterback with the Houston Texans.

The quarterback has denied all the accusations levelled at him and Watson had good news last month when two grand juries in Texas have rejected the opportunity to indict Watson on criminal charges.

This means the NFL star will not do jail time, but it does not mean the case is over.

The NFL can also cite a player in the case of civil matters and that has been part of Friel’s ongoing investigation, of which this week’s meetings with the player will no doubt form a key part of their findings.

Decision To Be Taken By Court Judge

Once Friel has completed the investigation, then her findings will be passed on to Sue Robinson, a former U.S. District Court Judge who has been appointed as a disciplinary officer by both the NFL Players Association and the NFL.

She will then determine whether Watson did indeed break any aspect of the conduct policy and recommend a course of action to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Commissioner will then use those findings to determine whether Watson will face any punishment from the NFL for his actions.

Goodell has already imposed sanctions on players for other unrelated matters in the NFL this season with receivers DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals and Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons amongst those to be suspended, in Ridley’s case for the entire 2022/23 season.

Watson Hosts Browns Offense In Bahamas

On the outside at least, Watson appears to be confident that he will be able to start the season for the Browns on Week One.

This weekend, despite the meetings in Texas, he has been the catalyst to get together several members of the Cleveland Browns offense at his holiday residence in the Bahamas, with a view to making an early start on working together before official organised team activities and training camps’ restart on 24th May.

With the Browns all-in on Watson with a fully-guaranteed $230 million contract signed this summer, to lose him for a significant period of time this season, in what promises to be very tough AFC North, could be disastrous for their playoff hopes.

So you can forgive Browns fans for being a little nervous today as it may well be the future of their forthcoming NFL season that is in the hands of the investigative team.

However, if Watson is found guilty of violating policy, then they only have the QB to blame.

 

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