It appears the waiting game for the Cleveland Browns is about to end.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s fate, according to Sue L. Robinson the independent arbitrator, is expected to be announced shortly.
I’m told relevant parties have already been notified that Sue Robinson is currently expected to inform them of the decision in the Deshaun Watson proceeding by some time Monday, per league sources.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 31, 2022
Citing league sources, Josina Anderson is reporting that Robinson has notified all parties that her decision is forthcoming on Monday.
NFLPA Signals No Appeal Is Forthcoming
The NFLPA, on behalf of Watson, has the right to appeal Robinson’s decision, and many thought this would be a real possibility.
In the event of an appeal, Commissioner Roger Goodell would issue the final decision on the case.
However, the NFLPA and Deshaun Watson issued a statement on Sunday evening which indicates they do not plan to appeal Robinson’s ruling.
Our joint statement with Deshaun Watson on the impending arbitration decision: pic.twitter.com/9ObLnHiX6J
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) July 31, 2022
The statement reiterates the process that has taken place in the Watson case.
“Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”
Could The Suspension Be Retroactive?
Some have wondered if Robinson would make the suspension retroactive.
Watson has not played in an NFL game since January 2021.
Could that mean he already served whatever the stipulated number of games?
The good news is that we will not need to speculate much longer.
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) July 31, 2022
The Controversy Will Continue Beyond Tomorrow
Though Monday is another step in the process that has hovered over the Browns ever since they traded for Watson on March 18, it will not end the controversy.
Robinson’s ruling will not satisfy everyone.
Some will find it too strict; others will think it is too lenient.
The Browns knew all of this would be the case when they made the trade.
Presumably, the team has contingency plans for every possible scenario.
Let’s hope those plans go beyond the X’s and O’s of football and also include outreach to the fans who will not agree with the ruling.