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QB Deshaun Watson, CLE (1 Viewer)

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Your opinion? 

We've seen your 700+ posts.

Have your opinions mattered?   
Obviously this is my opinion, yes. Some of them have, sure. Depends how you define “mattered”.

My opinion added to the conversation, unlike this post by you which was purely an ad hominem attack that contributed nothing to the conversation, or this community in general.

maybe think about that & be a better community member going forward. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Where are all the season long/lifetime ban bros? 
 

I was in the six to eight game camp myself. Stated in this marathon thread somewhere. 
 

Hoping Rog leaves it alone and we can move on. 
I was a 6-8 ride or die from page 1 of this saga.

only when the number spiked to surreal proportions did I think a year was possible.

But yeah - bad day for both of the extreme ends of prognostication. 

 

KellysHeroes

Footballguy
loving how citizens who never studied law or involved in the legal punishment system are questioning a federal judge's decision... espn in particular.

Without criminal charges and evidence this was the most I could of seen him get where everyone is happy.

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Section 1(b) applies to discipline for unnecessary roughness and on field behavior. The language you quoted is inapplicable to this.  Instead, it's 
I wasn't about to quote the entire PCP but noted that section.

I quoted parts of Discipline which is the first part as the basis of the second part labeled hearings.  Under hearings, it mentions appeals where I correctly quoted the exact same thing that you said I hadn't.  I cut out the fluff.  

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
[Pelissero] Here’s the conclusion of Judge Sue L. Robinson’s decision, saying in part the NFL “is attempting to impose a more dramatic shift in its culture without the benefit of fair notice to — and consistency of consequence for — those in the NFL subject to the Policy.”

https://twitter.com/TomPelissero/status/1554143843326607360?t=7yjstK3geeOLf5XB1nsfKg&s=19
With all due respect to the judge, I disagree with the fair notice part. But the last part, consistency, would be key if this went further than Goddell. 

 

Maurile Tremblay

Administrator
Staff member
I want to correct myself on the subject of tolling.

Watson will want to avoid having his contract tolled for a year, but there's been some confusion on my part about what would trigger that. (Having his contract toll would be terrible for him because it would push his $1 million season back a year [instead of getting it out of the way while suspended] and also delay his next free agency by a year.) I was thinking that his suspension would need to be 11 or fewer games because I had in my head that he'd need to be on full-pay status for at least six games. But then I was thinking maybe the cutoff should be 12 games or fewer because the season is 18 games, not 17, if bye weeks count, and I believe players do get game checks during their bye weeks. So I looked some things up in the CBA and realized that I was confusing some things.

The rule is that a player can't report to a team after the Tuesday following the tenth week of regular season games. (Back when the season was 16 weeks, that meant he'd have to join the team for six full weeks of practices and games, hence the six week duration I had in my head.) But reading it over, I've come to think that this provision bars a player from joining his team after the tenth week of holding out, not after ten games of being suspended.

The provision that I believe is likely to apply here is the extension provision, which is as follows:
16. EXTENSION. Unless this contract specifically provides otherwise, if Player becomes a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or any other country, or retires from professional football as an active player, or otherwise fails or refuses to perform his services under this contract, then this contract will be tolled between the date of Player’s induction into the Armed Forces, or his retirement, or his failure or refusal to perform, and the later date of his return to professional football. During the period this contract is tolled, Player will not be entitled to any compensation or benefits. On Player’s return to professional football, the term of this contract will be extended for a period of time equal to the number of seasons (to the nearest multiple of one) remaining at the time the contract was tolled. The right of renewal, if any, contained in this contract will remain in effect until the end of any such extended term.

I remember this issue coming up with the Vincent Jackson situation and there was some ambiguity because, although the CBA talks about rounding to "the nearest" full season, I believe Joey Galloway once held out for exactly half a season, and his absence wasn't rounded up to a full season for tolling purposes. So now that the season is 18 games, it appears that missing 9 game weeks would be okay, but maybe missing 10 game weeks would toll his contract?

It's still a bit ambiguous because it's not entirely clear that being suspended counts as "otherwise fail[ing] or refus[ing] to perform his services" for purposes of that provision. But I think it probably counts as failing. (Also, we don't know whether "this contract specifically provides otherwise." It might, since Watson likely considered the possibility of a suspension.)

But check out that very first phrase in the extension provision quoted above.

As I think about this more, I think it's quite likely that Watson's contract has a provision saying that his contract will not be tolled during any suspension. He and the team both knew a suspension was fairly likely, and the team seemed willing to make the contract extremely friendly to Watson in other ways, so it probably did in that way as well.

So I now think that the tolling issue doesn't matter. Watson will want to serve his suspension during 2022 when his base salary is $1 million. So even if he challenges the suspension in court, he might not seek a preliminary injunction allowing him to play while the litigation is pending because he really shouldn't want to push any part of the suspension into 2023.
 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
I've heard different opinions on whether Watson could be allowed to play if he takes things to court. One version is that since he did not appeal the 6-game suspension, he will sit the first 6 weeks of the season no matter what. Any temporary restraining order he might get from a court would start with his ability to play in Week 7 or not. The counter argument is that if he took things to court, he would ask for a TRO to be able to continue to be able to play, starting in Week 1. Not sure if anyone really knows what the situation is with 100% accuracy.
 

menobrown

Footballguy
This sure changed in a hurry.

Sue Robinson's judgment at this point looks like she gave the NFL everything it needed. Almost to tidy. By saying he was guilty of sexual assault she has armed the NFL with the best tool it's had since this started to hammer Watson. Had she not been so incredibly light on the suspension for someone she stated the evidence pointed to guilt the NFL would very likely have just let it stand. But she made the suspension so light the NFL had to step in so now they can play the role of the one's who won't tolerate this kind of behavior and can pull of a big PR win as presenting themselves as not being willing to stand for this kind of conduct. Sue could not have presented the NFL a cleaner frame work of material to work with.

Have read a few reports that the NFL in their earlier settlement talks before Sue's judgment was willing to do 12 games and a fine basically equal to what Watson got paid to sit last year. In other words a lot of us here said him sitting out last year was not punishment, the NFL does not do time served, but actually looks in this case as they essentially are wanting to give Watson the equivalent of a 29 game suspension and essentially make last year time served.

If that 12 games and $10M fine are still on the table Watson might need to take it. My first thought was I'd tell the league I'll just see you in 2023 before I'd give up $10M to play a few games when it's likely to be to late by week 14 when he would make his debut. But hearing talk it would toll his contract to 2023 is now making me think if Watson can still get this deal he might need to take it.

As always I'm pretty much anti-suspension and hate the way this has unfolded but the league found a way. And you'll read and hear reports about how fractured the relationship will be now between the NFLPA and NFL now and you know what, the NFL does NOT care. The way they see it if they can get the union worked up over how player suspension are handled that's just a big concessions they will need to make in some other areas of the next CBA.
 

zed2283

Footballguy
This is all on the players and approving a horrible CBA. All they care about is being able to smoke more and work less. The discipline system is ridiculous. An independent arbitrator that appeals to the commissioner??
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
I honestly think the judge wrote a fantastic opinion. Its hard to keep something like this so short and easily accessible for anyone to read and understand. Its natural to react emotionally from the gut depending on your pre-determined view of fairness, but I think its very hard to find any fault in her analysis and conclusions.

 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
This is all on the players and approving a horrible CBA. All they care about is being able to smoke more and work less. The discipline system is ridiculous. An independent arbitrator that appeals to the commissioner??

It seems like the fox guarding the chicken coop for sure, but I think the judge really puts Goodell and the NFL on the spot. I'm probably naive to think they have the integrity to abide by their own rules, but I think its going to be really very hard for them to explain on what basis they would increase the suspension more than a few games.
 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
I honestly think the judge wrote a fantastic opinion. Its hard to keep something like this so short and easily accessible for anyone to read and understand. Its natural to react emotionally from the gut depending on your pre-determined view of fairness, but I think its very hard to find any fault in her analysis and conclusions.

I think she also gave the NFL all the justification they need to give Watson as long a suspension as they want. And now it’s going to an arbitrator who gave a a suspension to a player who wasn’t charged with a crime, but instead of 1 accusation, it’s 4.

4x6 = 24?

I doubt they’ll go for that long, but they’ll probably put that on the table & offer a 1 season suspension or 12 + a fine.

Just guessing of course - we’ll see what happens.
 

GregR

Footballguy
Question directed @CletiusMaximus @Maurile Tremblay and any other of our resident legal folk.

The NFL only presented Robinson with 4 of the 25 cases. I realize I'm asking for a lot of speculation on your part, but given what she ruled from those, how do you think things might have gone had all of the cases been presented? Even if the only evidence given were the statements made in their lawsuits / he said-she said?

The judge mentioned a few things like the small towel, his manner of soliciting the massages, which suggested he had more than a professional massage in mind. Details which many of the lawsuits also mention.

Do you think that she would have basically said "each case standing alone there isn't enough evidence for these other 20+ cases, so the punishment is just based on the 4 cases there is sufficient evidence for"? Or do you think the extra cases with similar renditions to the cases she did believe, would have increased the level of the punishment?

I know I'm asking you to speculate, but curious to get your input. Thanks!
 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Copied from another board.
-----------------------------------------
For those lacking legal knowledge - Let me explain
The NFL will win this. It’s all but guaranteed. Here is how they will do it (and i’ll bump this thread when each step I list below comes to fruition, so you can follow along in the process).

1) The NFL will issue a ruling that the appeal was successful and Watson was suspended for more games.

2) Before Watson can sue the NFL in federal court, the NFL will immediately (as soon as they issue the appeal ruling), file a pre-emptive lawsuit known as a Declaratory Judgement.

3)
By pre-emptivley filing the lawsuit, the NFL picks their own venue which will be federal district court in Manhattan, where there is also precedent (on multiple cases) to side with the NFL in labor disputes due to the CBA.

Because the NFL knows exactly when they will release the appeal decision, they can “push the button” so to speak, to pre-emptively filing a lawsuit against Watson, forcing the decision. Because Watson and the NFLPA doesn’t know when the decision will come, they can’t file the lawsuit first.

Questions:

But why can’t Watson pre-emptively file right now? Because there is nothing to appeal yet. Ezekiel Elliot tried to do this a few years ago in his fight against the NFL and he lost terribly. The federal court waived their finger and said “uh uh”, you can’t file until a decision is given. Advantage NFL again.

How about Watson playing while the court case winds through the court system? As Florio correctly pointed out, Watson isn’t appealing Judge Sue Robinson’s verdict. He is appealing Goodell’s verdict. So those 6 games will likely be set in stone by the court.

Long story short - Don’t let your Brown colored glasses fool you. The NFL is going to win this. They always have and that’s because:
1) They have precedent on their side.

2) They have the mutually agreed CBA on their side.

3) They have some of the best attorneys on planet earth and more money than the NFLPA could ever dream of.
 

Godsbrother

Footballguy
Have read a few reports that the NFL in their earlier settlement talks before Sue's judgment was willing to do 12 games and a fine basically equal to what Watson got paid to sit last year.

I have heard the NFL was/is pushing hard for at least a 12 game suspension to avoid Watson playing the Texans this season. Not sure if there is any truth to that
 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
Long story short - Don’t let your Brown colored glasses fool you. The NFL is going to win this. They always have and that’s because:
1) They have precedent on their side.

2) They have the mutually agreed CBA on their side.

3) They have some of the best attorneys on planet earth and more money than the NFLPA could ever dream of.

4. They have the truth and facts on their side.

5. They have the general public outside of Cleveland on their side.
 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
Does anyone know/think negotiations between the two sides are currently going on or has that ship sailed?

I would suspect the end around by Watson and the Browns coming up with the convoluted 2022 one million dollar salary that is substantially below market rate is complicating things. I'm sure the NFL doesn't want that to become the norm.
 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Have read a few reports that the NFL in their earlier settlement talks before Sue's judgment was willing to do 12 games and a fine basically equal to what Watson got paid to sit last year.

I have heard the NFL was/is pushing hard for at least a 12 game suspension to avoid Watson playing the Texans this season. Not sure if there is any truth to that
We've heard that many times. Not sure why Houston is any more important than other games but if they make it 12 games, Watson doesn't accrue an NFL season, which has ramifications.
Watson would owe Cleveland an extra year on his current contract.
The Browns would have already paid his entire $50 million guaranteed portion of his contract for this year and his low base of only $1 million which means they get to roll-over the entire $50 million guarantee of which is pure cap into next season.
the Browns coming up with the convoluted 2022 one million dollar salary that is substantially below market rate
Anyone who stumbles into the thread with the discredited statement shows they know nothing about standard NFL contracts because all extensions are built around this and there is nothing preventing the Browns shifting next year's base into a guarantee so if the NFL really wants to hit Watson, they will have to levy a fine.
The highest fine ever issued to a player was $1 million so anything above that would be unprecedented. Last year he sat out and earned $10 million so a fine of $10 would be ten times over the highest fine ever imposed and would 'effectively' take away his entire 2021 earnings where he sat out which would 'effectively' act as an additional year suspension.
 

MAC_32

Footballguy
Long story short - Don’t let your Brown colored glasses fool you. The NFL is going to win this. They always have and that’s because:
1) They have precedent on their side.

2) They have the mutually agreed CBA on their side.

3) They have some of the best attorneys on planet earth and more money than the NFLPA could ever dream of.

4. They have the truth and facts on their side.

5. They have the general public outside of Cleveland on their side.
From what I have gathered I think the general public in Cleveland's ire is mostly directed at exactly what Robinson said in the report - there is (a lot) more but 'it is inherently unfair to identify conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the penalties for such conduct after the fact' says it best. This is a private organization that is collectively bargained so they are going to do what the NFL wants to do, but they absolutely bear more than a little blame for what's transpired so far - and what will in the near future.

I have no issue with him getting the season long hammer. I just then hope Watson's camp and the NFLPA drag the NFL through the mud. Decisions have consequences. Anyone can find outliers, but from what's entered my orbit this isn't a Cleveland defending Watson thing nearly as much as it is a Cleveland vs NFL thing.
 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Copied from another board.
-----------------------------------------
For those lacking legal knowledge - Let me explain
The NFL will win this. It’s all but guaranteed. Here is how they will do it (and i’ll bump this thread when each step I list below comes to fruition, so you can follow along in the process).

1) The NFL will issue a ruling that the appeal was successful and Watson was suspended for more games.

2) Before Watson can sue the NFL in federal court, the NFL will immediately (as soon as they issue the appeal ruling), file a pre-emptive lawsuit known as a Declaratory Judgement.

3)
By pre-emptivley filing the lawsuit, the NFL picks their own venue which will be federal district court in Manhattan, where there is also precedent (on multiple cases) to side with the NFL in labor disputes due to the CBA.

Because the NFL knows exactly when they will release the appeal decision, they can “push the button” so to speak, to pre-emptively filing a lawsuit against Watson, forcing the decision. Because Watson and the NFLPA doesn’t know when the decision will come, they can’t file the lawsuit first.

Questions:

But why can’t Watson pre-emptively file right now? Because there is nothing to appeal yet. Ezekiel Elliot tried to do this a few years ago in his fight against the NFL and he lost terribly. The federal court waived their finger and said “uh uh”, you can’t file until a decision is given. Advantage NFL again.

How about Watson playing while the court case winds through the court system? As Florio correctly pointed out, Watson isn’t appealing Judge Sue Robinson’s verdict. He is appealing Goodell’s verdict. So those 6 games will likely be set in stone by the court.

Long story short - Don’t let your Brown colored glasses fool you. The NFL is going to win this. They always have and that’s because:
1) They have precedent on their side.

2) They have the mutually agreed CBA on their side.

3) They have some of the best attorneys on planet earth and more money than the NFLPA could ever dream of.
While I agree with the last part (NFL will win, had precedent, etc) I’m puzzled by the 1st part.

Why exactly would the NFL “preemptively sue” team Watson?

Forgive me - I’m not an attorney, but from what I just read, a declaratory Judgement isn’t “preemptively suing” anyone. It’s seeking a judgement to resolve legal uncertainty.

Same effect as what’s described in your post, in that the NFL, expecting to be sued, would go to court to have a judge review the action they’ve taken, and issue a declaration that it was in fact within their rights to do so & and legally binding to finalize the decision and prevent a lawsuit against them.

So it sounds probable, but the description given of “preemptively suing” is a little confusing to me. Sounds more like soliciting the court to put a bow on their decision.

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
From what I have gathered I think the general public in Cleveland's ire is mostly directed at exactly what Robinson said in the report - there is (a lot) more but 'it is inherently unfair to identify conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the penalties for such conduct after the fact' says it best. This is a private organization that is collectively bargained so they are going to do what the NFL wants to do, but they absolutely bear more than a little blame for what's transpired so far - and what will in the near future.

DeShaun: Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started getting massages that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I’ve got a lot of massages and I tell you people do that all the time
 

Capella

CAPELLODINHO
I've heard different opinions on whether Watson could be allowed to play if he takes things to court. One version is that since he did not appeal the 6-game suspension, he will sit the first 6 weeks of the season no matter what. Any temporary restraining order he might get from a court would start with his ability to play in Week 7 or not. The counter argument is that if he took things to court, he would ask for a TRO to be able to continue to be able to play, starting in Week 1. Not sure if anyone really knows what the situation is with 100% accuracy.
Union collectively bargained that right away in the last CBA. The people on Twitter saying otherwise don’t know what they are talking about. There won’t be a TRO.
 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
Have read a few reports that the NFL in their earlier settlement talks before Sue's judgment was willing to do 12 games and a fine basically equal to what Watson got paid to sit last year.

I have heard the NFL was/is pushing hard for at least a 12 game suspension to avoid Watson playing the Texans this season. Not sure if there is any truth to that
We've heard that many times. Not sure why Houston is any more important than other games but if they make it 12 games, Watson doesn't accrue an NFL season, which has ramifications.
Watson would owe Cleveland an extra year on his current contract.
The Browns would have already paid his entire $50 million guaranteed portion of his contract for this year and his low base of only $1 million which means they get to roll-over the entire $50 million guarantee of which is pure cap into next season.
the Browns coming up with the convoluted 2022 one million dollar salary that is substantially below market rate
Anyone who stumbles into the thread with the discredited statement shows they know nothing about standard NFL contracts because all extensions are built around this and there is nothing preventing the Browns shifting next year's base into a guarantee so if the NFL really wants to hit Watson, they will have to levy a fine.
The highest fine ever issued to a player was $1 million so anything above that would be unprecedented. Last year he sat out and earned $10 million so a fine of $10 would be ten times over the highest fine ever imposed and would 'effectively' take away his entire 2021 earnings where he sat out which would 'effectively' act as an additional year suspension.
I don't think anybody is really arguing that many contracts are structured this way (except me earlier, lol, and I was wrong)....its just the fact that DW's "market value" well exceeds the one million dollars he would lose in salary....losing this "one year" of 1 Mil in salary is a joke/slap on the wrist when push comes to shove....if he is to also lose "one year" of salary, the general consensus is that it should hurt a little more and be based on his market value....not the monkey games of this first year he is only getting one million....while yes they structure contracts this way, the fact that they "knew" he was going to get a suspension was probably also factored in to that decision/structure.....IMO it should be the "average" year of his entire contract....somewhere around 40 mil....
 
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CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
Question directed @CletiusMaximus @Maurile Tremblay and any other of our resident legal folk.

The NFL only presented Robinson with 4 of the 25 cases. I realize I'm asking for a lot of speculation on your part, but given what she ruled from those, how do you think things might have gone had all of the cases been presented? Even if the only evidence given were the statements made in their lawsuits / he said-she said?

The judge mentioned a few things like the small towel, his manner of soliciting the massages, which suggested he had more than a professional massage in mind. Details which many of the lawsuits also mention.

Do you think that she would have basically said "each case standing alone there isn't enough evidence for these other 20+ cases, so the punishment is just based on the 4 cases there is sufficient evidence for"? Or do you think the extra cases with similar renditions to the cases she did believe, would have increased the level of the punishment?

I know I'm asking you to speculate, but curious to get your input. Thanks!

She addresses this beginning at the bottom of page 3 and goes through a lengthy analysis of the NFL's investigation and report as well as some discussion of what Watson's defense presented. She was aware he used over 60 different massage therapists in a 15 month period and that 24 lawsuits were filed. She notes that the NFL was only able to interview 12 of the 24 and from those 12, they presented 4 cases plus statements from 37 other witnesses. They also presented documentary evidence and a 215 page report backed by live testimony from two investigators. Based on all this evidence, she determined that Watson had violated the Personal Conduct Policy in 3 different ways. He committed "sexual assault"; his conduct "posed a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person"; and his conduct "undermined or put at risk the integrity of the NFL." Her factual findings go through the lengthy pattern of conduct he engaged in when hiring, communicating his requirements, the towels, etc. I don't see how presentation of any more evidence or more cases would change anything. These findings are binding and non-appealable as well as being (imo) rock-solid.

Turning to the "Disciplinary Determination" - she's obviously highly critical of the NFL's position in requesting suspension for the entire season + an indeterminate additional amount. Again, I think her analysis is extremely sound as to the penalty determination. It was completely undisputed that Watson's conduct was non-violent, so did not trigger the mandatory 6 game suspension. It was undisputed that the maximum prior penalty for an NFL player who engaged in non-violent sexual assault was 3 games. I think her text suggests that she believes personally that 6 games is insufficient, but she is bound by the standards of "fairness and consistency" that govern her decision. Obviously she had to make a judgment call on the penalty phase, and its fair to disagree with her judgment, but I think her ruling is well supported and my feeling is that anyone who thinks the 6 game suspension is light or not fair should specifically address the standard she had to abide by and explain where she went wrong.
 

daveR

Footballguy
Long story short - Don’t let your Brown colored glasses fool you. The NFL is going to win this. They always have and that’s because:
1) They have precedent on their side.

2) They have the mutually agreed CBA on their side.

3) They have some of the best attorneys on planet earth and more money than the NFLPA could ever dream of.

4. They have the truth and facts on their side.

5. They have the general public outside of Cleveland on their side.
From what I have gathered I think the general public in Cleveland's ire is mostly directed at exactly what Robinson said in the report - there is (a lot) more but 'it is inherently unfair to identify conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the penalties for such conduct after the fact' says it best. This is a private organization that is collectively bargained so they are going to do what the NFL wants to do, but they absolutely bear more than a little blame for what's transpired so far - and what will in the near future.

I have no issue with him getting the season long hammer. I just then hope Watson's camp and the NFLPA drag the NFL through the mud. Decisions have consequences. Anyone can find outliers, but from what's entered my orbit this isn't a Cleveland defending Watson thing nearly as much as it is a Cleveland vs NFL thing.
It's my guess that they made the trade with the knowledge that there was no violence involved and therefore 6 games was max suspension. Dee Haslam was on the committee, BTW. IMO, it's the Browns organization that should be peeved that the NFL has chosen to make new rules after the fact, as Sue Robinson noted.
 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
fwiw....here's this from Peter King and FMIA....

"4. One influential NFL person told me on this trip that it doesn’t sit well with the league or 31 other owners that the Browns rigged the Watson contract so that his suspension would cause him to lose only a fraction of his 2022 compensation. A suspension of six games, for instance, means Watson would be docked six-eighteenths (there are 18 game weeks, including the bye) of his $1.035-million salary, or $344,655. So if Robinson’s suspension with no additional fine other than six game checks stands, it means Watson would lose 0.7 percent of his $46-million total compensation this year. That’s almost absurd beyond words. I expect Harvey to be under some pressure to levy a multi-million-dollar fine of Watson in whatever he rules."

so as I have said from the beginning....there are people that feel there was an element of the Browns and Watson playing games or "rigging" his contract due to feeling as though there would be a suspension....
 

GregR

Footballguy
It was undisputed that the maximum prior penalty for an NFL player who engaged in non-violent sexual assault was 3 games. I think her text suggests that she believes personally that 6 games is insufficient, but she is bound by the standards of "fairness and consistency" that govern her decision. Obviously she had to make a judgment call on the penalty phase, and its fair to disagree with her judgment, but I think her ruling is well supported and my feeling is that anyone who thinks the 6 game suspension is light or not fair should specifically address the standard she had to abide by and explain where she went wrong.

I think going from "one or two cases is 3 games" to "24 cases is 6 games" is pretty light. I had thought the punishment was based on those 4 cases that were the focus of the NFL's case, as 6 games seems like it would be appropriate if that's all that the discipline was based on.

But if she was given the info on the other cases and this discipline is supposed to account for them too, then yeah I think that's a pretty small jump for a pretty monumental jump in occurrences compared to what netted 3 games.
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
It was undisputed that the maximum prior penalty for an NFL player who engaged in non-violent sexual assault was 3 games. I think her text suggests that she believes personally that 6 games is insufficient, but she is bound by the standards of "fairness and consistency" that govern her decision. Obviously she had to make a judgment call on the penalty phase, and its fair to disagree with her judgment, but I think her ruling is well supported and my feeling is that anyone who thinks the 6 game suspension is light or not fair should specifically address the standard she had to abide by and explain where she went wrong.

I think going from "one or two cases is 3 games" to "24 cases is 6 games" is pretty light. I had thought the punishment was based on those 4 cases that were the focus of the NFL's case, as 6 games seems like it would be appropriate if that's all that the discipline was based on.

But if she was given the info on the other cases and this discipline is supposed to account for them too, then yeah I think that's a pretty small jump for a pretty monumental jump in occurrences compared to what netted 3 games.

I agree this is a source of confusion with her "Disciplinary Decision" being just 6 games. If you look at it like a criminal case, where committing a crime means a certain sentence and committing the same crime twice typically means that sentence X 2, then you assume that 24 counts of sexual assault means you would multiply the suspension length by 24 or do a similar analysis. I think its fair to assume the length of the suspension would be impacted by the number of women he sexually assaulted or the number of violations he engaged in. But this isn't a criminal sentencing exercise and she doesn't do this analysis, for whatever reason. The NFL didn't bother to prove X number of violations, just that he violated the conduct policy. The length of the suspension is based on the nature of his conduct (non-violent sexual assault), not the number of times he did it. Its easy to see how that seems unfair to so many people.
 

GregR

Footballguy
Anyone who stumbles into the thread with the discredited statement shows they know nothing about standard NFL contracts because all extensions are built around this and there is nothing preventing the Browns shifting next year's base into a guarantee so if the NFL really wants to hit Watson, they will have to levy a fine.

If it was just the low salary this year it would still occasion comment given the rest of the situation. And this is coming from someone who pointed out before the Grand Jury came back and the trade frenzy started, that teams who trade for him might restructure his contract exactly like that to handle the cap hit. Saints in particular I mentioned it for their cap situation at the time.

But it's the combination of minimum salary plus other contract language that prevents the team from recovering guaranteed money for a suspension for this set of infractions. The latter isn't standard. Viewing the contract as a whole, I can't make an honest argument that Cleveland didn't actively help him try to avoid financial impact of the punishment.

By the way, I won't be surprised if the result of the appeal is no change in the punishment, or no change/small change in number of games but the addition of a more significant fine. I think that's more likely than a full year. I think the scope of what he did is worth a year, but I won't be surprised if lack of precedent of anything of such scale doesn't aid Watson in the end, as it seemed to with the judge. If she didn't think that many cases warranted more than just doubling the last one, I don't know that Peter Harvey will go too much further down that road either, regardless of who appointed him.
 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
it's the combination of minimum salary plus other contract language that prevents the team from recovering guaranteed money for a suspension for this set of infractions
Any guaranteed money is guaranteed for all contracts.
Contract extensions the Cleveland Browns have made with top paid players show the same low base salary the first year with significant increases afterward.
All guaranteed contracts are guaranteed, all of the top paid players on the Browns sign similar deals and the same applies to every NFL team.
They construct extensions with low base salaries the first year in order to spread out the high guaranteed signing bonus over the life of the contract.
Its SOP for EVERY NFL team seeking to spread the cap hit out over the life of the contract.

Nick Chubb​

2022 BASE SALARY $1,213,059​

2023 BASE SALARY $10,850,000
2024 BASE SALARY $11,775,000

Myles Garrett 2022 BASE SALARY $1,035,000​

2023 BASE SALARY $17,250,000
2024 BASE SALARY $20,203,875

Denzel Ward 2022 BASE SALARY $1,035,000​

2023 BASE SALARY $4,041,000
2024 BASE SALARY $15,324,000
 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
Anyone who stumbles into the thread with the discredited statement shows they know nothing about standard NFL contracts because all extensions are built around this and there is nothing preventing the Browns shifting next year's base into a guarantee so if the NFL really wants to hit Watson, they will have to levy a fine.

If it was just the low salary this year it would still occasion comment given the rest of the situation. And this is coming from someone who pointed out before the Grand Jury came back and the trade frenzy started, that teams who trade for him might restructure his contract exactly like that to handle the cap hit. Saints in particular I mentioned it for their cap situation at the time.

But it's the combination of minimum salary plus other contract language that prevents the team from recovering guaranteed money for a suspension for this set of infractions. The latter isn't standard. Viewing the contract as a whole, I can't make an honest argument that Cleveland didn't actively help him try to avoid financial impact of the punishment.

By the way, I won't be surprised if the result of the appeal is no change in the punishment, or no change/small change in number of games but the addition of a more significant fine. I think that's more likely than a full year. I think the scope of what he did is worth a year, but I won't be surprised if lack of precedent of anything of such scale doesn't aid Watson in the end, as it seemed to with the judge. If she didn't think that many cases warranted more than just doubling the last one, I don't know that Peter Harvey will go too much further down that road either, regardless of who appointed him.
feels like we need to get past all the "precedent" stuff....there is no precedent for what Watson did.....sure Robinson can point to 6 games being the "max" so far or whatever.....but I can't think of a better opportunity for the NFL to start looking at and reshaping the punishments/suspensions and setting new "precedents".....they can and should reset the thoughts around "precedent" with this case....at some point you have too right?....you just can't keep falling back on this is the way we "originally" drew things up and this is the "max" baseline....and try to fit every incident/scenario/violation into a 6 game max box.....Sue said what he did was egregious and sexual assualt as defined by the NFL....she gave the max that she could based on how things were set up......had the max been 12 games, she probably would have recommended that....in many ways its a blessing (like for the 24 ladies involved) that both sides agreed that the NFL can step in afterwards and adjust accordingly......we all know 6 games was just ridiculous....
 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
it's the combination of minimum salary plus other contract language that prevents the team from recovering guaranteed money for a suspension for this set of infractions
Any guaranteed money is guaranteed for all contracts.
Contract extensions the Cleveland Browns have made with top paid players show the same low base salary the first year with significant increases afterward.
All guaranteed contracts are guaranteed, all of the top paid players on the Browns sign similar deals and the same applies to every NFL team.
They construct extensions with low base salaries the first year in order to spread out the high guaranteed signing bonus over the life of the contract.
Its SOP for EVERY NFL team seeking to spread the cap hit out over the life of the contract.

Nick Chubb​

2022 BASE SALARY $1,213,059​

2023 BASE SALARY $10,850,000
2024 BASE SALARY $11,775,000

Myles Garrett 2022 BASE SALARY $1,035,000​

2023 BASE SALARY $17,250,000
2024 BASE SALARY $20,203,875

Denzel Ward 2022 BASE SALARY $1,035,000​

2023 BASE SALARY $4,041,000
2024 BASE SALARY $15,324,000
nobody is really arguing that at this point......it's basically just saying if they really want to also have him feel the "fine" of a years salary.....fine him the yearly average amount of his entire contract......basically he doesn't get to just get lucky that the year's salary they fine him for is the ridiculous low amount of his first year of 1 mil.....
 

nirad3

Footballguy
ESPN is speculating that the NFL is seeking a full-year ban because Watson's actions were "egregious" and "predatory".


Can't insert link the normal way so had to post full URL.
 

Maurile Tremblay

Administrator
Staff member
It was undisputed that the maximum prior penalty for an NFL player who engaged in non-violent sexual assault was 3 games. I think her text suggests that she believes personally that 6 games is insufficient, but she is bound by the standards of "fairness and consistency" that govern her decision. Obviously she had to make a judgment call on the penalty phase, and its fair to disagree with her judgment, but I think her ruling is well supported and my feeling is that anyone who thinks the 6 game suspension is light or not fair should specifically address the standard she had to abide by and explain where she went wrong.

I think going from "one or two cases is 3 games" to "24 cases is 6 games" is pretty light. I had thought the punishment was based on those 4 cases that were the focus of the NFL's case, as 6 games seems like it would be appropriate if that's all that the discipline was based on.

But if she was given the info on the other cases and this discipline is supposed to account for them too, then yeah I think that's a pretty small jump for a pretty monumental jump in occurrences compared to what netted 3 games.

I agree this is a source of confusion with her "Disciplinary Decision" being just 6 games. If you look at it like a criminal case, where committing a crime means a certain sentence and committing the same crime twice typically means that sentence X 2, then you assume that 24 counts of sexual assault means you would multiply the suspension length by 24 or do a similar analysis. I think its fair to assume the length of the suspension would be impacted by the number of women he sexually assaulted or the number of violations he engaged in. But this isn't a criminal sentencing exercise and she doesn't do this analysis, for whatever reason. The NFL didn't bother to prove X number of violations, just that he violated the conduct policy. The length of the suspension is based on the nature of his conduct (non-violent sexual assault), not the number of times he did it. Its easy to see how that seems unfair to so many people.

I believe she mentioned the repetitive nature of his conduct as an aggravating circumstance warranting increased punishment. But she found only four instances of misconduct, not twenty-four.
 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
you just can't keep falling back on this is the way we "originally" drew things up and this is the "max" baseline
How things were oringally drawn up?
The precedent and baseline had been Goodell as judge, juror, and executioner which was unacceptable to the NFLPA because of the arbitrary and bizarre nature of his punishments so both the NFL and NFLPA agreed to an independent arbitrator who handed down an unbiased decision.
This was the first test to see if the NFL would honor that agreement and they already appealed the decision.
nobody is really arguing that at this point
Yes, they are arguing that point that the Browns set up the contract just to avoid Watson being levied a fine when ALL contracts for EVERY NFL team are set up the same way.
 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
“Roger Goodell said the league is seeking tougher punishment for Deshaun Watson because his "multiple violations" were "egregious" and "predatory behavior."
Watson was given a six-game suspension by Judge Sue Robinson last week. The league quickly appealed and is reportedly looking for an indefinite suspension. "We've seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,'' Goodell said of Robinson's ruling. Former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey will hear the NFL's appeal.

Sounds bad for team D-Wat.
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
“Roger Goodell said the league is seeking tougher punishment for Deshaun Watson because his "multiple violations" were "egregious" and "predatory behavior."
Watson was given a six-game suspension by Judge Sue Robinson last week. The league quickly appealed and is reportedly looking for an indefinite suspension. "We've seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,'' Goodell said of Robinson's ruling. Former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey will hear the NFL's appeal.

Sounds bad for team D-Wat.
Robinson gave the NFL enough rope to support the year or longer without looking vindictive. She was very clear about her rationale for going shorter than they might. I would have just gone with the six, but it’s hardly surprising that they’re going for the year.
I hope this gets to federal court with a neutral judge. :popcorn:
 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
This sure changed in a hurry.

Sue Robinson's judgment at this point looks like she gave the NFL everything it needed. Almost to tidy. By saying he was guilty of sexual assault she has armed the NFL with the best tool it's had since this started to hammer Watson. Had she not been so incredibly light on the suspension for someone she stated the evidence pointed to guilt the NFL would very likely have just let it stand. But she made the suspension so light the NFL had to step in so now they can play the role of the one's who won't tolerate this kind of behavior and can pull of a big PR win as presenting themselves as not being willing to stand for this kind of conduct. Sue could not have presented the NFL a cleaner frame work of material to work with.

Have read a few reports that the NFL in their earlier settlement talks before Sue's judgment was willing to do 12 games and a fine basically equal to what Watson got paid to sit last year. In other words a lot of us here said him sitting out last year was not punishment, the NFL does not do time served, but actually looks in this case as they essentially are wanting to give Watson the equivalent of a 29 game suspension and essentially make last year time served.

If that 12 games and $10M fine are still on the table Watson might need to take it. My first thought was I'd tell the league I'll just see you in 2023 before I'd give up $10M to play a few games when it's likely to be to late by week 14 when he would make his debut. But hearing talk it would toll his contract to 2023 is now making me think if Watson can still get this deal he might need to take it.

As always I'm pretty much anti-suspension and hate the way this has unfolded but the league found a way. And you'll read and hear reports about how fractured the relationship will be now between the NFLPA and NFL now and you know what, the NFL does NOT care. The way they see it if they can get the union worked up over how player suspension are handled that's just a big concessions they will need to make in some other areas of the next CBA.
Going from 22 months removed since he took a meaningful snap if and when he takes the field in late October...and forfeit that and push things out to 2023, we're talking 30+ months from a real NFL snap? That's a long time to be getting $230M guaranteed.
 
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Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
This is all on the players and approving a horrible CBA. All they care about is being able to smoke more and work less. The discipline system is ridiculous. An independent arbitrator that appeals to the commissioner??

It seems like the fox guarding the chicken coop for sure, but I think the judge really puts Goodell and the NFL on the spot. I'm probably naive to think they have the integrity to abide by their own rules, but I think its going to be really very hard for them to explain on what basis they would increase the suspension more than a few games.
If they can get the word "Unprecedented" in there which 20+ women accusing Watson would certainly qualify...Stephen Ross received a punishment unlike any owner I have ever seen. Buckle up CM because the NFL is out to make an example of DeShaun Watson imho.
 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
“Roger Goodell said the league is seeking tougher punishment for Deshaun Watson because his "multiple violations" were "egregious" and "predatory behavior."
Watson was given a six-game suspension by Judge Sue Robinson last week. The league quickly appealed and is reportedly looking for an indefinite suspension. "We've seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,'' Goodell said of Robinson's ruling. Former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey will hear the NFL's appeal.

Sounds bad for team D-Wat.
Robinson gave the NFL enough rope to support the year or longer without looking vindictive. She was very clear about her rationale for going shorter than they might. I would have just gone with the six, but it’s hardly surprising that they’re going for the year.
I hope this gets to federal court with a neutral judge. :popcorn:
Except it might not ever get that far. See above, with regard to the “declaratory judgement” - it seems there’s a mechanism whereby the NFL can seek a preemptive confirmation of their ruling.

I linked to the definition of a declaratory judgement, but it sounds like that would indeed prevent team Watson or the NFLPA from suing.

Also, Watson’s contract really does make it undesirable for him to drag this out into 2023. I could see why the NFLPA might want to fight this in court, but I suspect Team Watson might be like “whoa hey pump the brakes there, fellas”
 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Once it goes to court, it becomes a labor law case. They won’t be retrying the case. They will review if the collectively bargained process was followed. The court will either confirm the NFL followed the process or they didn’t. Given that the new PCP process says on appeal the league’s designee’s determination will be final, it’s pretty likely a court would uphold the suspension (whatever it turns out to be).

The NFLPA will try to argue that there was no notice given that such behavior would merit such a lengthy suspension. The counter argument will be that there haven’t been any players with that many incidents before so whatever the punishment they set would be covering new ground.

Bottom line, players don’t typically win when they go to court, and IMO, the new PCP process only makes the league’s case stronger.
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
“Roger Goodell said the league is seeking tougher punishment for Deshaun Watson because his "multiple violations" were "egregious" and "predatory behavior."
Watson was given a six-game suspension by Judge Sue Robinson last week. The league quickly appealed and is reportedly looking for an indefinite suspension. "We've seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,'' Goodell said of Robinson's ruling. Former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey will hear the NFL's appeal.

Sounds bad for team D-Wat.
Robinson gave the NFL enough rope to support the year or longer without looking vindictive. She was very clear about her rationale for going shorter than they might. I would have just gone with the six, but it’s hardly surprising that they’re going for the year.
I hope this gets to federal court with a neutral judge. :popcorn:
Except it might not ever get that far. See above, with regard to the “declaratory judgement” - it seems there’s a mechanism whereby the NFL can seek a preemptive confirmation of their ruling.

I linked to the definition of a declaratory judgement, but it sounds like that would indeed prevent team Watson or the NFLPA from suing.

Also, Watson’s contract really does make it undesirable for him to drag this out into 2023. I could see why the NFLPA might want to fight this in court, but I suspect Team Watson might be like “whoa hey pump the brakes there, fellas”
The declaration judgment aspect is an interesting one, with which I have no experience. I’m not sure it will go exactly as speculated.
 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
The league has used the declaratory judgment strategy in the past. It ensures the NFL gets home court advantage, and the league can use rulings in past cases in the district to support their case. It would also get the NFLPA and Watson playing catch up. Since Watson can’t file a suit until they know what they are suing for, the league will have the upper hand in where the case is heard.

On a side note, I saw on ESPN today where the NFL considers each accuser that was presented as a violation of the PCP. So they are arguing Robinson confirmed four separate violations of the PCP, not one. That’s why the league wants a much longer suspension.
 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
you just can't keep falling back on this is the way we "originally" drew things up and this is the "max" baseline
How things were oringally drawn up?
The precedent and baseline had been Goodell as judge, juror, and executioner which was unacceptable to the NFLPA because of the arbitrary and bizarre nature of his punishments so both the NFL and NFLPA agreed to an independent arbitrator who handed down an unbiased decision.
This was the first test to see if the NFL would honor that agreement and they already appealed the decision.
nobody is really arguing that at this point
Yes, they are arguing that point that the Browns set up the contract just to avoid Watson being levied a fine when ALL contracts for EVERY NFL team are set up the same way.
1. originally drawn up in reference to 6 games being the initial max for PCP violations.....(before going in front of Rog/designee if appealed)
2. I just quoted what Peter King said an "influential NFL person" said that NFL and 31 owners and how they felt they "rigged" it and that it didn't sit well with them....interpret that however you want...
 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
The league has used the declaratory judgment strategy in the past. It ensures the NFL gets home court advantage, and the league can use rulings in past cases in the district to support their case. It would also get the NFLPA and Watson playing catch up. Since Watson can’t file a suit until they know what they are suing for, the league will have the upper hand in where the case is heard.

On a side note, I saw on ESPN today where the NFL considers each accuser that was presented as a violation of the PCP. So they are arguing Robinson confirmed four separate violations of the PCP, not one. That’s why the league wants a much longer suspension.
This is one I’ve sort of had right from the jump. I’ve consistently said the NFL would look at each instance as a separate violation, and would want a suspension for each. (E.g. Big Ben’s 6 games x 24 or 31 or 60 or whatever).

points for gryffindor!
:pickle:
 

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