ESPN: Browns' Deshaun Watson to Sue NFL If League Appeals 6-Game Suspension

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2022

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The NFL could appeal the six-game suspension levied against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Wastson, but it might open the league up to legal trouble.

ESPN's Jeff Darlington provided a breakdown Tuesday on Get Up (2:00 mark in video):

"I'm told if the NFL does appeal this, that Deshaun Watson's side will be filing suit against them to question the authority of [commissioner Roger] Goodell to do so," Darlington reported.

As Darlington noted, this could delay the suspension through injunctions.

The initial ruling of a six-game suspension with no fine was made by independent disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, although the NFL indicated it might not be finished with the case.

"Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL or the NFLPA on behalf of Watson may appeal the decision within three days," the league said in a statement. "In light of her findings, the league is reviewing Judge Robinson's imposition of a six-game suspension and will make a determination on next steps."

The NFLPA already announced it would not appeal any decision from Robinson.

ESPN's Dan Graziano previously reported the lowest the NFL was willing to accept in any settlement agreement with Watson was a 12-game suspension with a heavy fine.

Watson's side was hoping for much less, with CBS Sport's Josina Anderson reporting his legal team was "displeased" with the ruling of six-game suspension.

Tom Brady notably filed a federal lawsuit against the league after his "deflategate" suspension, which was initially overturned before losing on appeal. The suspension was delayed from the 2015 season to 2016, when he eventually sat out four games.

Watson may actually prefer not to delay the suspension further, however, as he is set to lose $333,333 from his $1 million base salary in 2022, per ESPN's Field Yates. His base salary grows to $46 million in 2023, which means the same suspension would cost him over $15 million.


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