Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary decision is expected on Monday, sources say

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary decision is expected on Monday, sources say

NFL Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson is expected to make a ruling Monday on whether Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson violated the league’s conduct policy, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior during massage sessions in civil lawsuits filed by 25 women. The encounters cited in the lawsuits took place between March 2020 and March 2021 while Watson was a member of the Houston Texans. One of the 25 lawsuits was dropped after a judge ruled in April 2021 that plaintiffs would have to amend their filings to disclose their names. In June, Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits he faced; The other four remain active and are on track to go to court next year.

Last month, the Texans reached settlements with 30 women who have made or were willing to make claims against the organization for their alleged role in the allegations against Watson.

Robinson heard arguments from the league, the union and Watson’s attorney during a three-day hearing in her home state of Delaware in late June. The NFL was pushing for a suspension of at least a year, while the NFLPA and Watson’s attorney argued that the quarterback shouldn’t be suspended at all. The sides discussed a possible settlement until the end of the hearing, but failed to reach an agreement.

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If either the union or the league appeals Robinson’s decision, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee will “enact a written decision constituting a full, final and complete settlement of the dispute,” under the terms of Article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to CBA has three days for both sides to submit the objection in writing.

Although two Texas grand juries earlier this year declined to seek criminal charges against Watson, the NFL has been investigating for last year whether he violated its personal conduct policy. The NFL interviewed Watson for several days earlier this summer. League investigators also spoke to several of the women.

Watson has always denied any wrongdoing and said he has no regrets about his actions during the massage sessions. Watson also said he was cooperating with the NFL’s investigation and “truthfully answered every question” put to him by league investigators.

The Browns traded for Watson in March, sending three first-round draft picks to the Texans. Cleveland then handed Watson a new five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract, the richest deal in NFL history for a player.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said last week that Jacoby Brissett would become Cleveland’s starter if Watson were suspended. The Browns had Sunday off from training camp but are scheduled to return to training on Monday.

CBS Sports first reported that Robinson’s decision is expected on Monday.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.