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Deshaun Watson hearing concludes, after three days

Mike Florio explains how the appeal process would work if either Deshaun Watson or the NFL appeals the initial punishment decided by Judge Sue L. Robinson.

The Deshaun Watson hearing is over.

Three days of testimony and argument have concluded. Per a source with knowledge of the proceedings, some relevant information appears below.

First, the NFL interviewed 12 women who are making allegations against the Browns quarterback. Five cases became the focal point of the league’s presentation.

Second, the NFL’s case included no evidence that Watson engaged in violence, made threats, applied coercion, or used force.

Third, the NFL admitted that the punishment it seeks (an indefinite suspension of at least one year) is unprecedented.

Fourth, as to the argument that any punishment imposed on Watson must be proportional to punishment imposed on owners who may have violated the Personal Conduct Policy, the NFL admitted that its director of security investigated the allegations of solicitation made against Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and that no punishment was imposed.

Based on those points, the NFL Players Association will push for no discipline of Watson. Judge Robinson will issue a decision, eventually.

If the decision is criticized as being too lenient, the league will try to take cover in the notion that it attempted to secure a significant punishment. If any discipline is imposed at all, the league will have the right to appeal the decision to the Commissioner.