The Cleveland Browns cross one big question mark off their offseason list with the trade of Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers. Whether that ends up being a good decision or a bad one will be decided in the future but, for now, it was a step that was going to happen and is now complete.
The other big unknown is the fate of new QB Deshaun Watson. Some details were released by Pro Football Focus’ Mike Florio last week. He reiterated and added to those details later in the week including him not being surprised if Watson is not suspended at all.
Thursday, Florio reported that the NFL and NFLPA are not negotiating toward a settlement. In fact, he is reporting, along with noting Dan Graziano’s reporting, that the NFLPA is pushing toward no suspension:
Now that the hearing is over, Watson’s team is focused on persuading Judge Sue L. Robinson to not suspend him at all. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics pegged the potential for a settlement along the lines that Graziano discussed, “We are far past that point”
Per multiple sources, currently there are no talks. Another source said that, based on the evidence and argument at the hearing, a 12-game, open-ended suspension would not be a serious offer.
Also on Thursday, Josina Anderson corroborated one of Florio’s earlier reports about what the NFL presented as far as evidence:
[Cont.] I was also told the NFL presented no evidence of violence, force, threat or coercion in the claims of the 5 women they focused on at the hearing before Sue Robinson, as first reported by @ProFootballTalk in part. 4/4
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 7, 2022
Anderson also added information about one of the 12 cases the NFL investigated but did not present evidence on that included interviews with the accuser’s son. The report paints the picture that the NFL didn’t include that case at least partial due to his testimony.
In the end, all the leaks and reports do not mean anything and only Judge Sue Robinson’s ruling. It is interesting that many of the leaks and reports prior to the hearing seemed to paint Watson’s 2022 season in jeopardy while most after seem to be pointing in the opposite direction.