In civil court, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson faced 24 accusers. In the NFL’s disciplinary process, he faces only four.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported on Monday that the league’s case against Watson centers only on four women, not five. The fifth woman was not interviewed by the league.
The NFL originally spoke to 12 of the Watson accusers, before presenting five cases during the disciplinary hearing that began 13 days ago.
As we hear it, the decision by the league to cut to five from four may not have been voluntary. The fifth woman’s claim, we’re told, may have been based solely on a media report. Judge Sue L. Robinson, we’re told, may have decided not to give that claim any credence at all, essentially throwing it out of the case.
We’ll find out more when Judge Robinson issues a ruling. Briefs were reportedly due today. I’ll be watching for a decision beginning on Monday, July 25 — with the possibility of a Friday, July 22 news-dump publication.
Presumably, the full written decision from Judge Robinson will be released. The league routinely did so before shoving the Washington Commanders investigation under the rug. Our guess is that the league will make the Watson ruling available, because it will need fans and media to understand the basis for the decision — especially if he’s suspended for far fewer games than the NFL seeks (i.e., a minimum of one season).