Deshaun Watson shot down this settlement offer from the NFL that would have suspended him for less than a year – CBS Sports

Deshaun Watson shot down this settlement offer from the NFL that would have suspended him for less than a year - CBS Sports

With the NFL now appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, there is a very real chance that his punishment could get worse in the coming weeks.

The NFL originally wanted Watson suspended for at least a year, and now, the league will try to actually do that, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. Although Judge Sue Robinson ordered the six-game suspension, Roger Goodell on Thursday appointed former New Jersey AG Peter C. Harvey to oversee the appeal hearing, Jones confirmed. Harvey will now have final say in the case.

The NFL filing an appeal in a case where the NFL is in charge of the appeals process makes it difficult to imagine a scenario where the NFL does not add a large amount of games to Watson’s suspension.

Watson could have avoided all of this if he settled his case with the NFL and he had a chance to do just that before Robinson handed down her sentence on Monday. According to to ESPN.comin the days before the judgment of Robinson, both the NFL and the camp of Watson tried to work out a settlement.

Although the NFL wanted to see Watson suspended for a full year, the league wanted to cut that number down in a compromise. According to ESPN and Sports Illustratedthe NFL’s final settlement offer was this: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and also fined $8 million to $10 million.

Watson’s side shot down the offer because it didn’t want to accept any deal that would suspend the quarterback for more than six to eight games. Watson was also unwilling to accept a heavy fine, according to ESPN.com.

Basically, Watson took a gamble by not accepting the NFL’s offer and it’s looking more and more like he’s going to lose that gamble. Had Watson accepted the 12-game suspension, he could have put all of this behind him, but instead, he may now be hit with an indefinite suspension of at least a year.

At this point, it feels like the best case scenario scenario for Watson is now a 12-game suspension. With his six-game suspension currently under appeal, that actually gives the two sides more time to work out a potential settlement, meaning Watson could have another chance to make a deal with the NFL.

The fact that the NFL was willing to agree to a 12-game suspension in a possible settlement — instead of a one-year suspension — is no accident. According to to Yahoo Sportsthe NFL absolutely does not want to see Watson play the Texans in Week 13 and one way to prevent him from doing that would be to suspend him for 12 games (If he received a 12-game suspension, the Texas game would be the final game that he would have to sit out).

If there is no settlement and Watson’s suspension ends up being extended by the NFL, there is a very real chance that this case will end up in federal court. However, CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson reported Thursday that Watson’s camp has not made a decision on whether to file a federal lawsuit. According to Anderson, Watson’s legal team will wait to see what happens in the appeal. If the suspension is increased to 12 games, they might just go with it and not file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if he gets banned for a year or more, it won’t be at all surprising to see a lawsuit filed.

No matter what happens, this is far from over. As for the appeals process, Watson’s camp has until Friday to respond to the NFL’s appeal. After that, the decision on Watson’s suspension will fall squarely in Harvey’s hands.

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