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Goodell: NFL calling for Watson suspension 'does the right thing'

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Associated Press

Associated Press

Tom Withers

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attends the AFC Championship Game between the Chiefs and Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 30, 2022.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joins AFC Attending the Championship Game between the Chiefs and Bengals on January 30, 2022 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire /Getty Images

Verrier, Ohio — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell He said the league felt the need to continue seeking a one-year suspension for Browns quarterback Deshawn Watson for "evil" and "predatory behavior." toward women.

At the owners' meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota on Tuesday, Goodell said that appointed former federal judge Sue L. Robinson gave Watson his six games. spoke about the league's decision to suspend the league. The NFL and he was appointed by the NFL Players Association as an independent league disciplinary officer.

Robinson said Watson violated the league's course of action after he was accused by 20 women of sexually assaulting and harassing him while he was playing for Houston. I discovered that there is Watson has settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits filed by the woman, but has denied wrongdoing.

The league is seeking an indefinite suspension and fine for Watson. Robinson felt his six-game suspension wasn't enough. Goodell cited a collective bargaining agreement to give the league the power to seek more discipline.

That's what we felt we had the right to do, just like the NFLPA," said Goodell. "So we decided it was the right thing to do."

Watson's fate hangs on former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, whom Goodell handpicked to handle the appeal. there is Harvey previously served as an arbitrator in league litigation.

Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns runs a drill during Cleveland Browns training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on July 30, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.
Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns is training his camp for the Cleveland Browns. The drill will be performed during July 30, 2022 at his CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Bellaire, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Goodell pushed for the league to give Watson his one-year penalty. said that

In her 16-page ruling, Robinson concluded that Watson had violated the league's personal rules.

"Because I have seen the evidence," he said. "She [Robinson] was very clear about the evidence. She corroborated the evidence that there were multiple violations here and they were gross and looting.

"These are always things that we felt were really important to deal with in a responsible way."

Goodell doesn't know when Harvey will make a decision. Harvey doesn't have a specific deadline, but the appeal policy requires it to be done "expeditiously."

It remains possible that both sides will reach a settlement.

While attending a conference in Minnesota, Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam said little about the pending appeal.

"We respect and respect this process," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Watson at the Browns' exhibition opener is unknown.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski declined to say whether Watson will play in Jacksonville on Friday. Stefanski said the team has a plan, but won't reveal it until he's told the players. said. "You know, we reserve the right to change our minds at any time based on how we're going to practice and things like that, but we're pretty confident in our plan."

Stefanski said that Watson is going to Florida. The three-time Pro Bowler hasn't played since 2020. He walked out last season after requesting a trade before the allegations came to light. was to have Jacoby Brissette start in the starting line-up while he was suspended. But now that it could cover most, if not all, of the season, the team could be looking for another quarterback outside.

Josh Rosen and Josh Dobbs are also in Cleveland. Included in the roster, he is expected to make up the majority of his playing time during the exhibition season.

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