With the NFL appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, there’s a very real possibility that his punishment could get worse in the coming weeks.
The NFL originally wanted Watson suspended for at least a year, and now, the league will try to make that happen, according to CBS Sport NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. Although Judge Sue Robinson ordered the six-game suspension, Roger Goodell on Thursday appointed former New Jersey AG Peter C. Harvey to oversee the appeals hearing, Jones confirmed. Harvey will now have the final say in the case.
The NFL filing an appeal in a case where the NFL is in charge of the appeals process makes it hard to imagine a scenario where the NFL doesn’t add a substantial amount of games to Watson’s suspension.
Watson could have avoided all of this if he had settled his case with the NFL and had the opportunity to do so before Robinson delivered his verdict on Monday. According to ESPN.com, in the days leading up to Robinson’s verdict, both the NFL and Watson’s camp tried to reach a settlement.
Although the NFL wanted to see Watson suspended for a full year, the league was willing to reduce that number in a settlement. According to ESPN and Sports Illustrated, the NFL’s final settlement offer was this: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and also fined $8 million to $10 million.
Watson’s team rejected the offer because it was unwilling to accept any deal that would suspend the quarterback for more than six to eight games. Watson was also unwilling to accept a hefty fine, according to ESPN.com.
Watson essentially bet himself on not accepting the NFL’s offer, and it looks more and more like he’s going to lose that bet. Had Watson accepted the 12-game suspension, he could have put all of that behind him, but instead, he could now be hit with an indefinite suspension of at least a year.
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