July 6, 2022

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BRB GroupThink: Deshaun Watson’s Looming Suspension

Deshaun Watson is gone. He received’t face legal prices, however he nonetheless has 22 civil fits pending. This week, footage of a few of his desposition testimony leaked. The Houston Texans’ fanbase stays adamant that Watson shall be suspended for a big variety of video games in 2022. The Cleveland media has questioned the Browns’ choice to commerce for Watson. Do you suppose Watson shall be suspended for some portion of the 2022 season? In that case, what number of video games?

That is the query I requested the masthead. These are our responses:

MATT WESTON:

The Texans’ fanbase lives in dream world, in a la-la land of their very own creation. Invoice O’Brien is an efficient head coach! With this protection, they’ll win a Tremendous Bowl regardless of Brian Hoyer being below heart! No, they aren’t losing J.J. Watt’s prime by ignoring the quarterback place! All of these interceptions aren’t Brock Osweiler’s fault; he’s simply studying the offense! Houston is right to not go all in to construct round Deshaun Watson’s rookie contract and will take a long-term team-building method! Jadeveon Clowney is lazy and Houston needed to commerce him! Laremy Tunsil is an elite offensive deal with who is completely value two first spherical picks and a second to repair this offensive line! Buying and selling DeAndre Hopkins will unfold out the offense so Watson doesn’t focus a lot on one extensive receiver! Eric Murray is nice; it’s simply that the contract isn’t! David Johnson simply wants a spot the place he feels needed and he’ll return to the shape he discovered solely as soon as in his total profession! Jack Easterby isn’t that large of an issue! Houston goes to shock so much groups with their veteran expertise in 2021! Deshaun Watson shall be suspended for the whole thing of the 2022 NFL season and possibly for his total profession!

Right here’s the reality: Watson could also be suspended, or he is probably not, but when he’s, will probably be between two and 6 video games, and the Cleveland Browns are going to be unimaginable. They’ll have a prime 5 offense as Watson thrives enjoying in a play-action heavy scheme behind an elite offensive line, with nice working backs and offensive personnel that Houston tried for years to place round Watson, however failed to take action. The Browns are going to be actually good this yr. The Houston Texans are going to be be dangerous once more this yr. The Texans didn’t get sufficient in return for Watson.

All this may come to fruition. By then, this fanbase shall be trampled up in another phantasm.

MIKE BULLOCK:

I’m definitely no lawyer, nor do I faux to know how this critically advanced matter will play out. So, I’ve to go off what I’ve learn on-line by way of nice sources like Steph Stradley and never so nice ones like random Twitter peeps. Hardly ever does the courtroom of public opinion have all of the details; it usually appears extra like a torch and pitchfork mob of confusion than a rational, honest, and balanced judgment. All that being mentioned, Watson definitely appears extra responsible than ever after the leaked deposition.

The final I noticed, the civil instances seem headed to tug out into 2023. With that, I totally anticipate the NFL and Browns to enter the same association to what Houston did in 2021, making Watson a wholesome scratch all season. Cleveland is on the hook for little or no cash in Watson’s mega-deal for the 2022 season, so sitting him all yr received’t value a lot and it permits Watson to be taught the workforce, playbook, tradition, and many others. whereas the Haslams and others hope and pray time heals all wounds and the Dawg Pound begins to overlook that their beloved workforce could have given the one greatest contract in NFL historical past to a serial sexual predator.

If these civil instances stay unresolved heading into Week One of many 2022 NFL season and Watson takes the sector, the potential backlash from NFL followers is tidal wave-esque in scope. The danger versus reward right here for Roger Goodell and his friends in New York doesn’t tilt in Watson’s favor. Allegedly, there are quite a few ladies’s rights teams planning huge protests at any and all NFL video games that includes Watson. If Goodell & Co. thought they took it on the PR chin with Colin Kaepernick, wait till these ladies’s rights teams pay money for them. Don’t put it previous these organizations to start out working tv adverts, getting movie star backing (in contrast to the anti-Kaepernick crowd), and immolating the Browns/Watson within the courtroom of public opinion. Dismissing the poster baby for NFL social justice is one factor; empowering an assault on wives, moms, sisters, and daughters in all places is sort of one other.

The leaked video didn’t do Watson any favors, both. Notably the half the place he’s requested about making an attempt to make it appear like he was in New York Metropolis when one of many therapeutic massage incidents occurred. Was he making an attempt to cover the session from his girlfriend? Was he making an attempt to determine a authorized alibi for wrongdoing that occurred? Was he simply making a stupid-yet-innocent mistake? We could by no means know, but it surely certain appears shady and suspect.

L4BLITZER:

With no new legal prices on the horizon, it will seem that the one factor that would cease Deshaun Watson from enjoying within the Dawg Pound in 2022 shall be Goodell and the NFL. Watson will wish to get out to the sector. The Cleveland Browns need him on the sector to attempt to truly win a Tremendous Bowl, and to get individuals to not hound them for giving Watson a elevate for all the luggage he’s bringing. But the NFL is “nonetheless investigating,” and with the civil instances more likely to drag out for a while, I’m not so certain there shall be any decision on NFL self-discipline for a while. If there may be one, I don’t see how the NFL could make it any lower than six video games. Except the NFL goes for a minimum of a full season’s value of recreation, there’ll huge outrage.

Additionally, I don’t put it previous the NFL to attempt to make the Browns and Watson pay for being so “good” in regards to the 2022 base wage a part of his contract. For the reason that base wage is “solely” $1 million, if Watson was to even miss the entire season, he’s out simply that cash, not another a part of the $230M assured to him. Nonetheless, if the NFL decides to attend till the civil instances resolve and/or concern a judgment later within the season that will impression Watson previous 2022 and into 2023, there shall be higher monetary ache, which Watson has not skilled so far so far as his NFL wage is worried.

So, until the NFL decides to step in, Watson will take the sector in 2022. Watson staying off the sector for Houston in 2021 was as a lot about his want to by no means play for the Texans once more because it was his authorized points. He’ll wish to get again on the sector, if for no different motive than to attempt to get some optimistic headlines. In fact, he may have no margin for error and obtain no quarter for any errors (with justification for that). Which means that barring any form of NFL motion, he’ll return to NRG Stadium to play for an opponent in 2022. The reception he’ll get is more likely to be legendary, and never in a great way.

RETIRED VOLLEYBALL:

I’m going to go along with six video games. I believe there shall be an preliminary suspension for eight after which the compulsory enchantment will drop it to 6. I believe the upshot is that the Browns will miss the NFL Playoffs subsequent season. Jacoby Brissett will simply be the worst beginning quarterback in that division for the video games he shall be on the helm.

In fact, when schedules come out, we might undergo and predict wins and losses for every of these video games, however I don’t see how a Brissett-led workforce goes any higher than 3-3 by way of that stretch and it’s extra doubtless they go 2-4. That needs to be sufficient to value Cleveland the division. As a lot expertise because the Browns have, I simply don’t see profitable as computerized for them. The Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens are additionally good groups when wholesome, and if the Pittsburgh Steelers get somebody aside from Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, they could possibly be good too.

KENNETH L:

Appears like Watson received’t be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt listing, which I hoped was the punishment, contemplating the Browns’ contract for him was a direct circumvention of NFL coverage and procedures. It’s weak spot the NFL is displaying proper now, and I actually can’t consider this may happen for a non-quarterback.

In the event that they aren’t doing the exempt listing, I believe the punishment shall be a lot lower than individuals anticipate. I might see six video games being the punishment, after which it will get appealed and lowered to 4. That looks like a win-win for the league. They go large, scale back, and nonetheless have their method. I can’t see a complete season or half a season for a punishment based mostly on civil instances that haven’t been rsolved but.

BIGFATDRUNK:

I’m going to additionally go six video games.

I don’t suppose the NFL cares is the trustworthy fact. Simply don’t say the dangerous components out loud, and the whole lot shall be positive. Nothing to see right here. Deshaun who?

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