Deshaun Watson nixed settlement offer from NFL that would have suspended him for less than a year, per report

Deshaun Watson shot down this settlement offer from the NFL that would have suspended him for less than a year

With the NFL now appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, chances are his punishment will get worse in the coming weeks.

The NFL originally wanted Watson suspended for at least a year, and now the league will work to make sure that happens, according to Jonathan Jones, CBS Sport’s NFL Insider. Although Judge Sue Robinson ordered the six-game suspension, Roger Goodell on Thursday appointed former New Jersey AG Peter C. Harvey to oversee the appeal hearing, Jones confirmed. Harvey will now have the last word in the matter.

The filing of an appeal by the NFL in a case where the NFL is in charge of the appeal process makes it difficult to imagine a scenario in which the NFL does not add a substantial number of games to Watson’s suspension.

Watson could have avoided all of that had he settled his case with the NFL, and he had the chance to do so before Robinson gave judgment on Monday. According on ESPN.comin the days leading up to Robinson’s verdict, the NFL and Watson’s camp tried to find a settlement.

Although the NFL wants to see Watson suspended for a full year, the league was willing to reduce that number in a settlement. According ESPN and Sports Illustratedthe NFL’s final settlement offer was as follows: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and would also be fined $8–10 million.

Watson’s team rejected the offer because they were unwilling to accept a deal that would suspend the quarterback for more than six to eight games. Watson was also unwilling to accept a heavy fine, according to ESPN.com.

Basically, Watson took a gamble by not accepting the NFL’s offer and it looks more and more like he’s going to lose that bet. Had Watson accepted the 12-game suspension, he could have put all of that behind him, but instead he could now be hit with an indefinite suspension of at least a year.

At this point, it looks like best case scenario for Watson is now a 12-game suspension. With his six-game suspension currently on appeal, it actually gives both sides more time to work out a possible settlement, meaning Watson could have another shot at a deal with the NFL.

The fact that the NFL was willing to accept a 12-game ban in a potential settlement — instead of a one-year suspension — is no coincidence. According at Yahoo Sportsthe NFL absolutely does not want to see Watson play the Texas in Week 13 and one way to stop him from doing that would be to suspend him for 12 games (if he got a 12 game suspension, the Texans game would be the last game he would have to sit out).

If there’s no settlement and Watson’s suspension ends up being extended by the NFL, there’s a good chance this case will end up in federal court. However, CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson announced Thursday that Watson’s camp has not made a decision on whether to file a federal lawsuit. According to Anderson, Watson’s legal team will wait to see what happens in the appeal. If the suspension is increased to 12 games, they could just accept it and not sue. On the other hand, if he gets a ban for a year or more, it will not be at all surprising to see legal action taken.

Whatever happens, it’s far from over. As for the appeal process, Watson’s camp has until Friday to respond to the NFL’s appeal. After that, the decision on Watson’s suspension will fall squarely in Harvey’s hands.

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