With the special investigator finally making her decision with Deshaun Watson, many would think this saga is now over.
The Cleveland Browns and Watson are clearly okay with the decision.
However, the NFL could make an appeal with the decision handed down by Sue Robinson.
But if they take this route, the process for appeals will be lengthy.
Also, Watson and his team will appeal anything that is beyond the punishment handed down by Robinson.
That means this saga is just kicking off after years of accusations and investigations.
A Six-Game Suspension Isn’t Enough For Watson
When the word came out that Watson is only getting a six-game suspension, it put the NFL in a tough spot.
Parties involved in the disciplinary hearing for #Browns QB Deshaun Watson have been informed by Judge Sue Robinson that Watson should be suspended 6 games, sources say.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2022
However, they can’t afford a long and drawn-out process of an appeal.
This puts the NFL is in a tough spot with the Watson decision.
If they do appeal and get more games added to the current suspension ruling, Watson will appeal that decision himself.
While fans on both sides want justice in this saga, it won’t happen soon.
So what can the NFL do with their back against the wall in this ruling?
Report In June Suggests NFL Won’t Appeal
When the hearings with the Browns QB started back in June, there were early reports that the NFL didn’t want an appeals process.
More: I'm also told the NFL, despite insisting on indefinite suspension, wants to avoid the appeals process – source said "a terrible situation for everyone involved" – so league is more likely to abide by Sue Robinson's ruling IF she came back with 6-8 games.
— Rob Maaddi (@RobMaaddi) June 28, 2022
From that report, the suggestion was they will respect a 6-8 game suspension of the star QB in Cleveland.
However, that went against the first reports of the NFL wanting an indefinite suspension.
Now with the decision in, the NFL is stuck with either abiding by the ruling, as reported in June, or fighting it.
If the NFL doesn’t want a lengthy appeals process, they can go the route of fining Watson.
NFL Needs To Push For Heavy Fine Against Watson
While asking for a longer suspension might drag out the process, fining Watson makes the most sense.
It won’t be the answer that NFL fans want with this case, but it’s better than dragging this out forever.
However, the fine needs to set an example that the NFL won’t tolerate misconduct that ruins their league and players.
Watson currently won’t receive any additional fines.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended for six games, per NFL Network. He will receive no additional fine. pic.twitter.com/1bofa5DIyh
— Sky Sports NFL (@SkySportsNFL) August 1, 2022
But if the NFL doesn’t levy a heavy fine on Watson, it could cause a stir with fans upset at Watson.
While the NFL can do this, the question is if they will do this and levy a large fine on him.
If they don’t, NFL fans will lose faith in the process of how the NFL handles misconduct allegations.
With the NFL fining Hopkins and Ridley for their violations, it’s doesn’t look good to allow Watson to walk away without a heavy fine.
With some calling for a $10 million fine of the Browns QB, the saga will have plenty of time to show which direction the NFL takes with Watson.