The NFL has seemingly dragged its feet for over a year with their investigation of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. But the reason for that may not be what the more cynical people believe.
According to ProFootballTalk, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is bracing for an “unprecedented” punishment to be levied against Watson for violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.
The NFLPA will, of course, defend their member as obligated to by federal duty. And they already have a strategy in mind.
PFT noted that the NFLPA’s defense for Watson will be to point out the NFL’s hypocrisy and double-standard for its owners. Specifically, they will point to the league’s handling of off-the-field incidents involving New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder.
Whether or not that strategy works for Deshaun Watson remains to be seen. Using hypocrisy arguments as a core strategy doesn’t have a great track record.
The bigger question right now is what this so called “unprecedented” punishment might be. We’ve seen players suspended for a whole season or suspended indefinitely.
“Unprecedented” could suggest a multi-season suspension.
The recent two season suspension for Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer could be the example the NFL follows. While Bauer does play a different sport, there are parallels between his situation and Watson’s.
What do you think Deshaun Watson’s punishment will be?