As the World Turns was a soap opera that ran for well over 50 years on CBS.
Fans of the show tuned in religiously to see what would happen next.
The Cleveland Browns have their own soap opera happening in real-time, though everyone hopes it will end as soon as possible.
Deshaun Watson’s daily drama could easily have a name of its own, As Watson’s World Turns, and Cleveland fans have been tuned in daily to find out the latest news.
On August 1, retired judge Sue Robinson ruled that Watson should be suspended six games due to his ongoing legal battles stemming from sexual misconduct charges.
Deshaun Watson will serve a six game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual misconduct, disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson ruled Monday, a source told Adam Schefter. https://t.co/1x3cpIOLT0 pic.twitter.com/n1WW6JXIe2
— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2022
In her decision, Robinson noted that she found Watson’s behavior with women “predatory” and “egregious.”
She did not believe, however, that the Browns signal caller should be suspended for a full year.
The NFL disagreed, and two days after Robinson’s decision, appealed the matter, seeking a full season suspension.
The NFL is set to appeal Deshaun Watson's 6-game suspension. pic.twitter.com/rKWsyMQkx7
— theScore (@theScore) August 3, 2022
League commissioner Roger Goodell has entrusted the appeal decision to Peter Harvey, the former New Jersey Attorney General.
In the meantime, the Browns continue to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Garoppolo in the Mix?
In preparation for a Watson suspension, Cleveland added former Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett this offseason.
The organization also added Josh Dobbs and then signed former 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen in late July.
As an added insurance policy that depends on the Harvey decision, it was revealed by Cleveland.com on Thursday that the Browns may be interested in signing yet another quarterback.
Should Harvey rule that Watson will sit out all of 2022, it appears Cleveland could pursue former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) August 11, 2022
While Brissett has starting quarterback experience, the idea of Garoppolo heading to Ohio sends the message that the team doesn’t believe Brissett can lead the team for an entire season.
Garoppolo had surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder in March and looks to be ready for the upcoming season.
However, as mentioned in the Cleveland.com story, Garoppolo has starting experience in the regular season as well as the postseason.
Brissett has never started in a playoff game while Jimmy G has six starts with four victories in playoff games.
Garoppolo also has experience in the West Coast offense, which would benefit him in running coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense.
Jimmy G also has a higher completion percentage and career passer rating, per Cleveland.com.
A Jimmy Garoppolo led Browns team is a Super Bowl contender. pic.twitter.com/DXXQWkJzTl
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) August 11, 2022
Even though Brissett offers more of a dual threat than Garoppolo, it appears the Browns think Garoppolo offers a better chance at a Super Bowl run in Watson’s absence.
Is a Year-Long Suspension Realistic?
As much as the Browns and the NFLPA have been receptive to Robinson’s ruling, the NFL is pushing hard for Watson to receive a much harsher punishment including a hefty fine and mandatory counseling.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he feels the league needed to keep pushing for a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson because of his “egregious” and "predatory behavior" toward women. https://t.co/AvwQ1GNPHp pic.twitter.com/GSQ56LkPbi
— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) August 10, 2022
Commissioner Goodell believes the evidence speaks for itself.
“We’ve seen the evidence, she (Robinson) was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,’’ Goodell said. “There were multiple violations that were egregious and it was predatory behavior. Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that’s responsible.”
Goodell also strongly believes that the number of violations of the league’s personal conduct policy on behalf of Watson should warrant a lengthy suspension.
“I think that’s the case,’’ Goodell said. “That’s what the facts say.’’
While the Browns, and the rest of the sports world, wait for Harvey’s decision, the Browns are planning to start Watson for the team’s first preseason game on Friday versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.