Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will be waiting at least several days for a verdict in his NFL disciplinary hearing.
Watson's hearing is "expected to last for multiple days," according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, and it's unclear when disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, will issue a ruling.
Maske added that the NFLPA "has maintained throughout its deliberations with the NFL" that Watson shouldn't be suspended. However, the NFL has recommended an indefinite suspension of at least one year for the veteran quarterback, according to Mike Jones of USA Today.
Watson initially faced 24 civil lawsuits by women alleging sexual assault or misconduct during massage sessions. Twenty of those lawsuits have since been settled, though attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women, said on June 13 that two more were being filed. Watson is not facing criminal charges after two grand juries declined to indict him.
The 26-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.
The lawsuit filings date back to last year when he was a member of the Houston Texans. He sat out the entire 2021 season and was eventually moved to the Browns in March.
Cleveland went on to sign him to a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract as a replacement for Baker Mayfield, who remains a trade candidate himself after requesting a trade from the franchise.
Even if Watson is suspended, giving Mayfield the opportunity to start in 2022, the 2018 first overall pick doesn't appear interested in playing another game for the Browns, telling reporters Tuesday, "No, I think for that to happen, there would have to be some reaching out. But we're ready to move on, I think, on both sides."
If Watson is suspended for the entire 2022 season, it will be his second full season on the sideline. He hasn't appeared in an NFL game since the 2020 campaign, when he went 4-12 with the Texans.
If Watson is suspended and Mayfield is traded, the Browns will turn to Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs at quarterback after signing the veterans this offseason. Cleveland opens the season September 11 against the Carolina Panthers.
The Browns have made the playoffs only twice since 2000, and it appears they're headed for another season of disappointment.