Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s NFL disciplinary hearing will begin Tuesday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Sue L. Robinson, a former U.S. district judge, is the disciplinary officer appointed by the league and NFLPA who will make the ruling. Watson at one point faced 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions while a member of the Texans. Watson recently agreed to settle 20 of the suits.
Per the Wall Street Journal, the NFL is pushing for an indefinite suspension no shorter than one year for Watson for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, while the NFLPA will defend the 26-year-old. Schefter reports the NFL is likely to argue its proposed discipline based on just a fraction of those women’s testimony. The league was unable to speak with some of the women who interacted with Watson.
While this will be Robinson’s first time ruling on a case involving a NFL player, her decision has a chance to be made within a week. The NFL has said they are hoping to find a resolution ahead of training camp. The Browns’ first training camp practice is scheduled for July 27.
If Robinson rules that Watson didn’t violate the personal conduct policy, the case would be over and no appeals would be possible. On the flip-side, if she finds that Watson did violate the policy and imposes a punishment, either side can appeal to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Watson was asked about the disciplinary hearing last week during Cleveland’s minicamp practice and said he was fully cooperating with the process.
“I can’t control that,” Watson said. “I met with the NFL a couple weeks ago, and I did everything they asked me to do. I answered every question truthfully that the NFL asked me. I spent hours with the people that they brought down. And that’s all I can do is just be honest and tell them exactly what happened.
“I know they have a job, and so I have to respect that. And that’s what we wanted to do is cooperate. And they have to make a decision [that’s] best for the league.”