Report: Deshaun Watson, NFLPA to sue NFL if suspended for season

Deshaun Watson reportedly is expected to appeal if he is suspended for the entire 2022 season.
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The controversy surrounding Deshaun Watson will likely continue beyond arbitrator Sue Robinson’s decision on how long the Cleveland Browns quarterback should be suspended to begin the 2022 NFL season.

Robinson's recommendation to the league regarding the length of Watson's suspension might overlap with the first few days of Browns training camp next week, according to Yahoo's Charles Robinson. The NFL could opt to go with Robinson's decision regarding the length of Watson's suspension or, if the league is unsatisfied with how the arbitrator rules, appeal it and seek a longer, year-long suspension.

However the timeline unfolds, Charles Robinson reports that Watson and his legal team are prepared to sue the NFL if the year-long suspension is levied -- either from Robinson or from the league appeal.

"I'm told his camp and the NFLPA have already made the decision to file a lawsuit against the league in federal court," Robinson said.

The Browns open training camp Tuesday, July 26.

Judge Robinson's ruling will be the first legal domino to fall -- whether it comes before or after the start of camp.

If Robinson rules for Watson to be suspended for all of the season, Watson and the NFLPA will likely file their lawsuit. If Robinson rules for Watson to be part of the season, the NFL could opt to appeal her decision.

A third possibility is that Robinson issues a conclusion that calls for no suspension at all for Watson. If that's the result, the NFL is expected to quickly file an appeal.


Watson, 26, sat out the 2021 NFL season with the Houston Texans before being traded this offseason to the Browns. He signed a five-year contract that is fully guaranteed and worth a total of $230 million with signing bonuses.

Watson's salary in year one with the Browns is $1,035,000, with the remaining base salary of $184 million spread across four years (2023 to 2026).