There’s one day this July that Cleveland Browns fans should have circled on their calendars.
That’s the day when they will know whether Deshaun Watson can suit up for the Browns in the upcoming season or if he will be indefinitely suspended due to violations of the league’s player conduct policy.
Post-hearing briefs are due the week of July 11, per source. So Watson decision likely weeks away still.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) June 30, 2022
ESPN’s Dan Graziano revealed that post-hearing briefs are due the week of July 11.
Therefore, the decision regarding Watson’s fate for the 2022 season is still weeks away.
What’s certain is that they would like to reach a decision before training camp to give Watson time to prepare or to appeal the decision if it doesn’t go his way.
The process is taking a long time because both sides had to go through three days of hearings in front of former federal judge Sue Robinson.
She will make a recommendation based on the cases presented by both sides.
The league is pushing for an indefinite suspension which will force him to sit out the entire 2022 season.
If that happens, Watson will be out of football for two seasons, and getting back in game shape could be a challenge.
Watson Has Some Aces Up His Sleeve
The Pro Bowl quarterback can get a favorable judgment in two ways.
First, he can appeal the decision, especially if it favors the NFL’s push for an indefinite suspension.
That way, he could get a shorter suspension that allows him to play some games in 2022.
Second, he can get a shorter suspension or play in Week 1 depending on the argument of Jeffrey Kessler.
The NFL Players Association brought him in to present precedent-based cases that can reduce Watson’s sanction.
Kessler is an expert in these matters and has worked with Tom Brady during the Deflategate hearings.
Depending on his arguments, Watson might end up serving no suspension.