Schefter also reports that the NFL will likely base their discipline on a fraction of the women’s testimonies, as the league was unable to speak with some of the women who have accused Watson.
Robinson, who has never ruled on a case involving an NFL player, could take anywhere from one week until the time training camp begins to make her decision, with the NFL hoping for a ruling prior to training camp, according to Schefter.
Schefter adds that the NFL is expected to push for a “lengthy” suspension for Watson while the NFLPA defends him, following the settlement on 20 of the 24 civil cases against him for varying degrees of sexual misconduct.
Once Robinson makes her ruling, both sides will have the option to appeal and commissioner Roger Goodell can rule on the appeal himself or call in an outside party to do so in his place.
Josina Anderson recently reported that the NFL in conjunction with the NFLPA and representatives of Watson recently tried to negotiate a discipline settlement before the talks “fell apart” because the two sides were not on the same page on the number of games Watson should forfeit.
Reports on the potential length of suspension so far have been mostly speculation with guesses of six games, all the way up to Watson being suspended for the entire 2022 season.
Watson was officially cleared of criminal charges by grand juries in two different Texas counties. This opened the door for Watson to be traded and the Browns later reached an agreement to acquire him from the Texans.
Watson has maintained his innocence throughout.
“Like I said, I never assaulted anyone or I never harassed anyone or I never disrespected anyone,” Watson said at Browns minicamp. “I never forced anyone to do anything.”
Watson, 26, was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Clemson by the Texans. He signed a four-year, $13.854 million with the Texans that included a fifth-year option around $17.3 million for the 2021 season.
The Texans signed Watson to a four-year deal worth as much as $177 million heading into the 2020 season, paying him $39 million a year. He was traded to the Browns for draft compensation.
In 2020, Watson appeared in all 16 games for the Texans and completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 444 yards and three touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Watson as the news is available.