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NFL declines comment on recent developments in Deshaun Watson case

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discusses the latest updates on Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson and Simms explains why he increasingly believes Watson will not play in the 2022 NFL season.

Plenty has happened in the Deshaun Watson cases over the past week. So we asked the league office for an update given the filing of two new lawsuits and the controversial radio comments made last week by attorney Rusty Hardin.

“No update,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email. “We will decline comment as the matter remains under review.”

The questions posed to the league included whether paid leave was back on the table, given recent developments.

Thus, it remains completely unknown what the NFL will do. It’s entirely possible that the events of the past week will make things worse, not better, for Watson.

With the entire Personal Conduct Policy a P.R. tool masquerading as an in-house criminal justice system, the impact of two fresh lawsuits (after more than a year of no new litigation) and Hardin’s widely criticized effort to downplay the habit of receiving and/or pursuing “happy endings” at massages cannot be ignored. The league likes to wait as long as possible to make these types of decisions, and it’s possible that the past week has helped move the needle toward a more stringent punishment for Watson.

The clock keeps ticking for the league. With a new, three-step procedure for imposing discipline on a player, time will be needed to finalize the process. Hardin has said that Watson’s camp expects to hear something in June. As of tomorrow, the first week of June will be over.

Inevitably, Watson’s case will be. At this point, nothing can be ruled out. In our view, at some point the voices in the league office arguing for Watson to not be permitted to play until all civil cases are resolved will be standing on stronger footing. There’s a chance that, due to the past week, they now are.