Deshaun Watson Decision Expected Imminently; NFLPA Reacts With Intriguing Statement; More Suits Settle

The Deshaun Watson saga, nearly 18 months in the making, will reach it’s apparent culmination Monday morning when the league releases the decision on whether to discipline the Cleveland Browns quarterback for violating its Personal Conduct Policy, sources confirmed to OutKick.com.

The quarterback Sunday also agreed to settle three of the remaining four lawsuits filed by Houston area massage therapists claiming he engaged in harassing or other sexual misconduct against them, per a source.

“After lengthy and intense negotiations, I can confirm that, late last night, our team resolved three of the four remaining civil cases with Deshaun Watson,” attorney for the plaintiffs Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “We will continue to discuss the remaining case with Watson’s legal team, as appropriate.”

CBS NFL insider Josina Anderson was the first to report the timetable to the discipline decision.

Retired Federal judge and designated NFL discipline officer Sue L. Robinson on Sunday evening informed both the NFL offices and the NFL Players Association of her intention to release her decision on Watson, the sources said.

The NFLPA issued a statement on the matter, suggesting there will be no appeal from the union or Watson and asking the NFL to do the same:

This statement suggests the NFLPA has an idea what the sanction — if any — will be and it is satisfied with what is about to be announced. And it is asking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has the power to change Robinson’s ruling, to not do so.

A source told OutKick, however, the NFLPA does not know the details of the Robinson decision, even if it certainly sounds like the sanctions from Robinson means Watson will play this coming season.

Either side has three days to submit an appeal. Goodell has the authority, under the collective bargaining agreement and new agreement on Personal Conduct Policy to make a binding decision on the appeal or designate someone who does.

Watson faces sanctions for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy for his conduct over the past nearly two years with massage therapists in Houston who alleged both to police and in civil suits he harassed them and otherwise engaged in forms of sexual misconduct during appointments.

Watson has continually maintained his innocence and two Texas grand juries declined to return criminal indictments on the matter. Watson then settled the civil lawsuits with 20 of the 24 alleged victims.

The pending settlements includes one by Ashley Solis, who was among the first therapists to step forward with allegations against Watson and who publicly outlined the session which led to her suit and filing a criminal complaint on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumble:

“As I’m working, he deliberately grabs himself and put his penis on my hand. And I pulled my hand away instantly and I started crying. And I told him that I’m done. I don’t wanna do this anymore,” Solis said.

One unsettled suit remains pending against Watson.

Watson, who was traded from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns for three first round picks, faces a suspension.

League sources have said the Browns expect a suspension anywhere from 4 to 8 games while the NFL has been pushing privately for the equivalent of a year-long suspension. But only Robinson gets a say in the matter barring an appeal.

Watson was the prize in the offseason quarterback derby around the NFL as no less than four teams — Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta and Seattle — tried to involve themselves in negotiations for his services.

The fact the Browns finally get to find out what is happening with their starting quarterback is a good thing. The decision not coming until after all NFL teams, including the Browns, began training camp was an uncertainty that was beginning to put the Browns in a tough situation.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

4 Comments

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  1. OK… Watson is a “bum” who hits on women thinking his celebrity status will get him laid … Is that a crime?
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    There are no charges that he raped anyone of forced any of his accusers to “do anything” … other than made them uncomfortable. … As “massage therapists” I would assume that is a hazard of the profession that they simply learn to cope with.
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    • This one’s kind of a gray area. Yes, finessing women into doing things they didn’t want to do isn’t a crime. But you legally can’t pull out your pecker and rub it on them. He coulda went to any strip mall message parlor and got these services but instead handled it through instagram.

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