Perhaps on Saturday, maybe on Sunday, the mood will strike me to write an article with my thoughts on where the Deshaun Watson disciplinary process goes from here. Until then, you’ll have to watch the attached video to find out my assessment of what happened at the hearing, and what may happen next.
My opinions are based largely if not entirely on our reporting from Thursday, regarding the information that was (and wasn’t) produced at the three-day hearing. The notion idea that my source has an agenda or whatever, which someone apparently was suggesting today, overlooks three important realities: (1) I take all possible agendas and biases into account before reporting anything; (2) I strive for accuracy, regardless of whether the source may coincidentally have an interest in the information being reported; and (3) no narrative or agenda means a damn thing, because Judge Sue L. Robinson eventually will determine the facts and then apply the Personal Conduct Policy to them.
I’ll share this important bit of information to better explain the context and motivations for Thursday’s reporting. People close to the action on this one are VERY concerned about the potential public reaction to a finding of little or no discipline for Watson. Frankly, it’s in everyone’s interests (Watson, the Browns, the league, the team, the union, and Judge Robinson) for the general public to be prepared for the very real possibility that Judge Robinson won’t impose a suspension anywhere close to that which the league has tried to secure.
Again, none of it matters. Judge Robinson will make the decision. But as explained in the attached video, the facts will be critical. What did the NFL prove? Then, how does the Personal Conduct Policy apply to those facts? That’s something she alone will evaluate and decide.