As NFL fans await the verdict on the Deshaun Watson case, speculation is running rampant. I’ve heard Watson will receive a heavy fine and no suspension to he’ll be suspended till the end of time. Also, media types and blue checkmarks are trying to predict when the judgment will be handed down. It’s been speculated until the earth says it’s had enough and decides to explode. I only know one thing for certain, only Judge Susan Robinson knows and she isn’t talking. Judges don’t leak information. According to Adam Schefter, Judge Robinson is going to take her time in rendering a decision and she should.
This is the first case under the new system for deciding the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy (PCP). This case sets the precedent for future rulings. Both the league and the players union know this. Some have used examples of the one-year and six-month suspensions of players caught gambling and using PED as benchmarks for the Watson suspension. “Well, if this guy gets one year for gambling, then Watson should get two years.” Nope, those cases are objective, they are based on factual events. The PCP is a subjective penalty based on opinion and interpretation of the policy. The only leaks that have come from this situation have been leaks during the hearing by the league and the players union. The purpose of those was to set public opinion.
Remember, if there is no penalty imposed, the league cannot appeal. If the NFL feels the penalty is too low, they can, but the appeal is heard by the commissioner. If that happens, the league proves the process is invalid. If the penalty is too stiff, then the players union will ask for an injunction to pause the suspension and sue. The bottom line, the decision will be announced when Judge Robinson is ready. It won’t be announced by tweet, but by letters to the players union, the league and Watson’s representatives. It could come any minute, any hour, any day or any week. Only Judge Susan Robinson knows.