AFC Notes: Deshaun Watson, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson writes Judge Sue Robinson said early in hearings regarding QB Deshaun Watson that she likely would not grant the NFL’s request for an indefinite suspension. She said that in front of the legal teams for both sides, so the NFL had a long time to prepare for its appeal. 
  • Robinson adds the NFL is seeking one of two outcomes in its appeal to an NFL-appointed designee: either a year-long suspension with no fine or a suspension of less than a year with a significant fine, probably in the range of several million dollars. 
  • Treatment would be mandatory for Watson in both instances. If he were suspended for the whole 2022 season, his contract would toll a year. 
  • Robinson points out that while Watson and the NFLPA are strongly considering suing the NFL in federal court, their situation is different from Ezekiel Elliott and Tom Brady who also took that path in that neither had gotten a ruling from an arbitrator before filing their case. Judge Robinson has already found Watson violated the personal conduct policy and the CBA gives the NFL the right to modify her disciplinary recommendation. 
  • The NFL appointed former New Jersey attorney general Peter Harvey as the designee to hear the appeal. (Adam Schefter)


  • Ravens first-round S Kyle Hamilton had cramps that caused him to leave practice early on Wednesday. No players were added to the injury report for Baltimore. (Jamison Hensley)


The reports out of Pittsburgh on presumptive starting QB Mitchell Trubisky haven’t been glowing so far, though admittedly Pittsburgh’s offense as a whole is lagging behind the defense right now. Steelers QB coach Mike Sullivan says they’re happy with Trubisky’s progress, though. 

“He’s on track,” he said via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “Mitch is progressing nicely. There is a great carryover from things in the spring, he is developing more chemistry with his receivers. There is a comfort level he has with systems, calls and processing.”

First-round QB Kenny Pickett has pretty consistently been working as the third-string quarterback and also appears to be a fair bit behind the other options. Sullivan called for patience, though. 

“It is too early to say right now that he is a one-read, happy-feet guy,” he said. “One thing we have seen from Kenny is the same thing he showed at Pitt, and that’s being accurate on the move. He’s accurate on the move on short and intermediate throws.”

Steelers QB Mason Rudolph has actually looked like the sharpest of the three at times during camp. But when asked if Rudolph could win the job, Sullivan didn’t exactly answer the question. 

“Mason has competed very well and has responded well to the challenge and has shown signs of improvement and has worked in those areas. There are things that he needs to get better at,” Sullivan said. “One thing I will say about the whole group is that everybody is pulling for each other. It is a very comfortable meeting room. Guys are working hard. They know there can be only one starting quarterback, but everybody helps everybody and has a great attitude.”

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