Watson to Cleveland

mauf

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Whether by design or chance, the new CBA system where the arbitrator rules, then the commissioner can overrule her, provides a mechanism for the league to react to backlash from a lenient penalty, such as they got in the Ray Rice case.

Maybe I’m overestimating how much the public cares, but I think this ruling is going to go over badly.
 
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Why are we sure that Goodell won't add games to the suspension in this case?
He's doing what he always does. Get this leak out there, and stick his finger in the air to see what's what. He will add more if there is widespread outrage. If it's relatively quiet, he will go with this. And it was totally planned up front to go down this way.
 

sodenj5

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Why are we sure that Goodell won't add games to the suspension in this case?
We aren’t. But now Watson and the NFLPA have grounds to push back on since an independent ruling has been made at 6 games.
 

Phil Plantier

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We aren’t. But now Watson and the NFLPA have grounds to push back on since an independent ruling has been made at 6 games.
I didn't see this Jeff Howe article in a brief search of this thread.

https://theathletic.com/3466017/2022/07/31/deshaun-watson-nfl-ruling-suspension/

The NFL Players Association and Deshaun Watson said they will accept the decision and potential punishment regarding the quarterback violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, according to a joint statement issued Sunday night.
I think if Goodell raises the number of games, there could be an appeal and this could be drawn out longer.

(6 games is disgusting, btw)
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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It's almost like this story was written the second the Browns traded for him.

We're at the penultimate scene. Just need the public outcry to force Roger to up this to the, "harshest penalty given to a player" - a whole 8 games - and then the most predictable story ever told will be complete.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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2 more games than maybe/possibly/not likely arranging for the miniscule deflation of a few footballs. Sounds right.
 

Gash Prex

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I agree 6 is not sufficient (and I've expressed my feelings on Watson previously) but this is coming from a neutral arbitrator and former federal judge - this isn't the NFL coming up with this number. Roger can now impose whatever he wants on appeal if the NFL decides to appeal now that Judge Robinson found a violation.
 

teddywingman

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This is also the first thing that came to mind when I read of this penalty.

We're all essentially in an abusive relationship with the NFL. For all its appalling aspects, we just can't quit it.
I have. And this latest development makes it likely I won't even watch the super bowl.

Hell I don't even know who won the last two. Stopped watching when they were cracking down on players kneeling.
 

BigJimEd

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I agree 6 is not sufficient (and I've expressed my feelings on Watson previously) but this is coming from a neutral arbitrator and former federal judge - this isn't the NFL coming up with this number. Roger can now impose whatever he wants on appeal if the NFL decides to appeal now that Judge Robinson found a violation.
An arbitrator that heard what the NFL wanted them to hear.

Maybe I’m overestimating how much the public cares, but I think this ruling is going to go over badly.
I think you might be overestimating. It will go over badly but will likely quickly pass.

The NFL will point to the "neutral" arbitrator and move on. Works out exactly how they want it and still gives them flexibility to pivot if the blowback is too much.
 

Remagellan

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I have. And this latest development makes it likely I won't even watch the super bowl.

Hell I don't even know who won the last two. Stopped watching when they were cracking down on players kneeling.

Honestly, good for you. I have friends who gave up the league for that very same reason, and totally respect that decision.
 

JM3

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I agree that the 6 games is awful, bad precedent, looks bad for the NFL, etc etc...

But I'm much more outraged by the criminal justice system whose actual job it is to punish him for his crimes than the NFL which is in the business of football & entertainment.
 

mauf

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You’re right. Sheesh, I thought he still had criminal trials pending along with the civil suits.

Also, here’s a look at Cleveland’s schedule while Watson is out.

View: https://twitter.com/sharpfootball/status/1554090727973462016?s=21&t=QFfxcXOsz8d4pp2z41xkzQ
Who isn’t projecting winning records for both the Chargers and Patriots?

In those first six games, I’m seeing three easy games (@CAR, NYJ, @ATL), two tough ones, though both at home (LAC and NE), and one somewhere in between (PIT on TNF). That’s about what you’d expect for a team that, to my eye, has an easier than average schedule overall. I suppose they’re lucky not to play any of their CIN and BAL games in the first six, but I’m not seeing a conspiracy by any means.

Edit: I initially flipped the home and road games. The info above is correct. You could argue that Pittsburgh at home is an easy game, but you could also argue that Carolina on the road isn’t.
 
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Bozo Texino

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Fucking embarrassing.

I've already been out on following the Texans because of this - and all the other non-stop bullshit from ownership - but I think I'm done with the NFL for a while.
 

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We aren’t. But now Watson and the NFLPA have grounds to push back on since an independent ruling has been made at 6 games.
I’m not sure how much push those grounds give them, though, should Goodell increase the number of games. Or on whom to where.
 

Marciano490

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This is gross but utterly unsurprising. The league is such a powerhouse, are ratings even appreciably better with Watson? I’ll keep watching the NFL because I’m morally weak, but I’ll never watch a game Watson is playing, whereas I’d normally watch a random Cleveland game for fantasy or betting or boredom.
 

DJnVa

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Who isn’t projecting winning records for both the Chargers and Patriots?

In those first six games, I’m seeing three easy games (CAR, @NYJ, ATL), two tough ones (@LAC, @NE)
Aren't they hosting the Patriots?
 

Seels

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This is actually testing whether I want to even watch the league. How can you reconcile 6 games for Watson and an entire season for Ridley within 6 months of each other? How can you reconcile 6 games for Watson and 4 games for Brady?

Where's Arlen Specter
 

mauf

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Aren't they hosting the Patriots?
I agree that the 6 games is awful, bad precedent, looks bad for the NFL, etc etc...

But I'm much more outraged by the criminal justice system whose actual job it is to punish him for his crimes than the NFL which is in the business of football & entertainment.
Holy shit, I completely reversed the home and road games. Who prints a schedule with home games in white and road games in orange, instead of the other way around?

760ADF0C-B721-4A7A-AF58-AC806CA96222.jpeg

If anything, this further debunks the conspiracy theories. Home games against the Chargers and Patriots are precisely the sort of games the Browns would hope to win with Watson that they’ll probably lose with Brissett. Carolina on the road isn’t a gimme either.
 

Ralphwiggum

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This is also the first thing that came to mind when I read of this penalty.

We're all essentially in an abusive relationship with the NFL. For all its appalling aspects, we just can't quit it.
I agree with this but this particular situation has me really contemplating where my line is. I’m fairly certain I’d be out in the Pats if Watson was the QB. Im also fairly sure I’d be out on the Pats if they traded for Hill and gave him millions of guaranteed dollars. But I can’t quite bring myself to completely quit the product.
 

luckiestman

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.

But I'm much more outraged by the criminal justice system whose actual job it is to punish him for his crimes than the NFL which is in the business of football & entertainment.
Always kind of felt this way. The dude should be in a penitentiary but if the legal system isn’t convicting him this NFL kangaroo court stuff is weird. Them policing both league matters (deflategate) and criminal matters leads to some (as we see above) comparisons that don’t make any sense.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Marciano490

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Referencing the lack of criminal charges is kind of hollow when it seems the DA was influenced not to bring any. Some of these guys are above the law outside the league, and then the league references that in letting them off with light suspensions.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Always kind of felt this way. The dude should be in a penitentiary but if the legal system isn’t convicting him this NFL kangaroo court stuff is weird. Them policing both league matters (deflategate) and criminal matters leads to some (as we see above) comparisons that don’t make any sense.
I think most everyone who feels like Watson should not be playing feels this way.

edit: to clarify, he’s a criminal who belongs in jail But I don’t think the NFL should be let off the hook because the criminal justice system isn’t able to handle these types of situations. Watson needs the NFL way more than they need him. They could have dropped a significant hammer here to send a message but as always if a guy has talent and can play nothing else really matters as long as they don’t go full Aaron Hernandez.
 

sodenj5

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What the actual fuck! He such a scumbag that he can’t be trusted around massage therapists but it’s ok for him to play in the league again after his sits out 6 games. Amazing.
It again reinforces the idea that you either buy that he sexually assaulted over 20 women or you don’t.

Suspending him and saying he isn’t allowed to receive massage therapy outside of the team’s training staff means you believe he did these things.

6 games is more of a referendum on Goodell’s past shitty rulings if you read her statement.
 

Jimbodandy

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I agree that the 6 games is awful, bad precedent, looks bad for the NFL, etc etc...

But I'm much more outraged by the criminal justice system whose actual job it is to punish him for his crimes than the NFL which is in the business of football & entertainment.
While I agree completely that it's shameful in 2022 that behavior like this consistently goes unpunished in our society, I disagree with your conclusions. The NFL isn't bound by reasonable doubt and case law and shit like that. They could take a hard stance and have a track record of winning in court with whatever punishments they hand out. They just don't fucking care to do it.
 

JM3

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While I agree completely that it's shameful in 2022 that behavior like this consistently goes unpunished in our society, I disagree with your conclusions. The NFL isn't bound by reasonable doubt and case law and shit like that. They could take a hard stance and have a track record of winning in court with whatever punishments they hand out. They just don't fucking care to do it.
What are my conclusions?
 

j44thor

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While I agree completely that it's shameful in 2022 that behavior like this consistently goes unpunished in our society, I disagree with your conclusions. The NFL isn't bound by reasonable doubt and case law and shit like that. They could take a hard stance and have a track record of winning in court with whatever punishments they hand out. They just don't fucking care to do it.
What is the likelihood the NFL would have won in court though had they overruled the independent arbiter which inevitably would have resulted in Watson camp suing? Wouldn't the courts give an independent arbiter deferential treatment over the league especially when there are no criminal charges and only one civil case left pending? I agree they largely don't care but they also were likely going to lose so that has to factor into the equation somewhere.
 

Jimbodandy

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What are my conclusions?
Yeah that sounded wrong, sorry. You're more outraged by the criminal justice system than the NFL. That's what I meant.

I think that the NFL had more latitude under article 46 to drop a bigger hammer and therefore should have. Maybe they lose in court eventually, but who cares. They took the chicken way out, and 6 games is an embarrassment.

I probably shouldn't expect the league or the prosecutors in this country to treat these crimes seriously since pretty much nobody in power does.
 
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JM3

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Yeah that sounded wrong, sorry. You're more outraged by the criminal justice system than the NFL. That's what I meant.

I think that the NFL had more latitude under article 46 to drop a bigger hammer and therefore should have. Maybe they lose in court eventually, but who cares. They're took the chicken way out, and 6 games is an embarrassment.

I probably shouldn't expect the league or the prosecutors in this country to treat these crimes seriously since pretty much nobody in power does.
Yeah, sorry, I was just generally curious because I didn't think I had really made any conclusions lol.

I do believe the Courts have failed Watson's victims a lot more than the NFL has, though.

I haven't ready this, yet, but this is the arbitrator's 15-page report:

watson.pdf (espn.com)
 

BigJimEd

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What is the likelihood the NFL would have won in court though had they overruled the independent arbiter which inevitably would have resulted in Watson camp suing? Wouldn't the courts give an independent arbiter deferential treatment over the league especially when there are no criminal charges and only one civil case left pending? I agree they largely don't care but they also were likely going to lose so that has to factor into the equation somewhere.
I believe Goodell still has final say on punishment according to the CBA.
. In advance of Robinson’s decision, the union called the new process impartial and legitimate while imploring the N.F.L. not to ask Goodell or his designee to override her ruling on an appeal. The C.B.A. affords Goodell the final word.
Let's not forget the NFL only bothered to put forth evidence about 5 of the victims and one of those "cases" was nothing but media reports that the judge disregarded. This isn't a case where the victims could drive the charge. This is the NFL guiding where they want it to go.


edit: little more detail. According to this report, league can't appeal if there is a finding of no violation (not the case here), otherwise the league can appeal to Goodell
  • If the NFL determines no personal conduct policy violation occurred, he faces no discipline and moves on.
  • If the independent arbitrator determines no personal conduct policy violation occurred, Watson faces no punishment and moves on. Per the CBA, the NFL cannot appeal this decision from the arbitrator.
  • If the independent arbitrator determines a personal conduct violation occurred, the arbitrator can ultimately determine the punishment for the infraction. If the NFL disagrees with the punishment, the league can appeal it to Goodell, who ultimately has a significant measure of power over the process once it’s agreed that a violation took place.
What this means is that Watson’s future will first rest in the hands of an arbitrator. After that, if it’s found that a violation of the personal conduct policy occurred, his punishment will ultimately rest in the hands of the NFL and Goodell.
 

djbayko

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What the actual fuck! He such a scumbag that he can’t be trusted around massage therapists but it’s ok for him to play in the league again after his sits out 6 games. Amazing.
The optics of this are terrible, but this arguably has more to do with protecting the league than anything. Even if he were to violate no laws, the act of him getting a private massage at this point can still be viewed as a risk. Still, it's disgusting that this is where we are.
 

Reverend

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What is the likelihood the NFL would have won in court though had they overruled the independent arbiter which inevitably would have resulted in Watson camp suing? Wouldn't the courts give an independent arbiter deferential treatment over the league especially when there are no criminal charges and only one civil case left pending? I agree they largely don't care but they also were likely going to lose so that has to factor into the equation somewhere.
I think it would be the same sort of lawsuit as in #deflategate where they would be challenging Goodell’s final arbiter on discipline, and the precedent there is that if he’s made such under the CBA, he can do whatever he wants. Not sure why the NFLPA bothered bargaining for an independent arbiter if that other thing got left in place, but maybe I’m missing something in the new CBA.

That said, the NFL hasn’t said if they are appealing to Goodell yet, I don’t believe.
 

djbayko

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I think it would be the same sort of lawsuit as in #deflategate where they would be challenging Goodell’s final arbiter on discipline, and the precedent there is that if he’s made such under the CBA, he can do whatever he wants. Not sure why the NFLPA bothered bargaining for an independent arbiter if that other thing got left in place, but maybe I’m missing something in the new CBA.

That said, the NFL hasn’t said if they are appealing to Goodell yet, I don’t believe.
This hurts my brain.