The NFL is on the clock, as we near the opening of training camps, and there are still unresolved stories about the most important position on the field, quarterbacks.
A look at what is going on around the NFL.
CLEVELAND….The Deshaun Watson discipline decision is coming but the story will not end when the NFL’s Director of Discipline hands down the suspension for the 24-lawsuits filed by women citing sexual misconduct in the ‘massage for sex scandal’
Two weeks of negotiations have failed to bring a solution. The NFL interviewed 12-of the women who filed lawsuits. They want the NFL judge to hand out a 1-year minimum suspension under the term ‘indefinite’. The NFL is concerned that more women and more lawsuits may surface. There had been discussion as many as 66-massage therapists may have been chased by the Texans quarterback.
Under Article 46 of the Uni0on agreement, a player can be disciplined only once in a case.
They also want the right to extend the sanctions if more litigation occurs, and make the QB ‘apply for reinstatement’.
Watson would give up the 1M salary he was supposed to make in Cleveland. Under consideration is the fact the NFL might want to recapture some of the 10M-Houston paid Watson last season while he was inactive each week of the schedule while the cases were being developed.
The Union meanwhile wants no suspension at all, saying Watson was never charged by police; that there was no indictment from two grand juries called in Harris County, and that the player has already settled 20 of the 24-lawsuits out of court.
The Players Association also tried to tie the lack of NFL discipline against Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder had to be taken into consideration. The judge ruled this is a stand alone case..
There were negotiations about a reduced penalty, but they collapsed at the end of last week.
There was discussion of an 8-game suspension and loss of salary, then a 12-game sitdown, but the NFL demanded Watson give up whatever appeal powers he had if he accepted the settlement. The NFLPA said no, that any player has a right to appeal whatever the final verdict is. End of discussion.
In the history of the modern day NFL, there have been tons of suspensions, dating from the 1950s to today. The court cases stretched from gambling, to drugs, drunk driving deaths, to domestic abuse, and horrid murder..
Alex Karras and Paul Hornung sat 1-full season for gambling on games in the 1960s in Green Bay and Detroit.
Art Schlicter, convicted of gambling, sat a year while with the Indianapolis Colts.
Michael Vick went to prison for 2-years in the dogfighting case in Atlanta but came back to play
.Running back Stanley Wilson had 2-suspensions of a year apiece in Cincinnati with cocaine addiction.
Darrell Russell of the Raiders had two different suspensions for drug issues. that ended his career.
Current Chiefs receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended multiple times for drug violations including a full year.
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson sat a year for child abuse.
Plaxico Burress spent two years in prison after a shooting incident while with the Steelers.
Donte Stallworth, a Ravens receiver, sat a year for a drunk driving death incident.
The ugliest discipline came in a murder for hire case involving Carolina receiver Rae Carruth, who hired someone to murder his pregnant girlfiredn. He was removed from the league for two years till he went to trial, and wound up serving 18 years in prison.
The more recent domestic abuse cases of Ray Rice and Kareem Hunt drew 8-game suspensions.
Front office execs and owners have been hit with 1-year suspensions too, from the Colt’s Jim Irsay’s drug problems, to the 49ers-Eddie DeBartolo bribery case, to the Deflategate mess with the Saints and Sean Payton and GM-Mickey Loomis.
None of the NFL discipline entails what Watson did…sexual pervision. The fact that this involved touching, masturbstioon, propositions and actual intercourse sheds a different light on the player.
The fact the Houston Texans provided him with non-disclosure agreements, and set up hotel rooms for his massages, has now dragged the troubled team into the lawsuits as being his enabler.
So we await the Judge’s final decision as to length of discipline and then the likely appeal to the NFL.
Caught in this mess are the Cleveland Browns, who traded three #1 picks to get Watson out of Cleveland. They last week then traded former starter Baker Mayfield.
Oddly, Browns officials dropped hints, when they decided to deal for Watson, they wanted ‘an adult in the QB-room’, a swipe at Mayfield.
What they got was a sexual pervert in Watson. What they got is a 2022 season without their starting quarterback.
All this drama, and the training camps have yet to open. That’s next week and so likely will be Deshaun’s disipline.