The NFL confirmed last week that former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey had been selected to hear the league’s appeal of the six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson issued by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson regarding allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.
It’s widely been reported that the league is seeking to make Watson ineligible for at least the entire upcoming season. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Tuesday about the decision to appeal Judge Robinson’s ruling.
“As you know, it’s part of the CBA that two parties had the right,” Goodell responded. “Either party could certainly challenge and appeal that and that was something we thought was our right to do. . . . So we decided it was the right thing to do.”
Goodell was also asked about the league’s desire for a one-year suspension of the 26-year-old shipped by the Houston Texans to the Browns this past March after he didn’t play at all last season amid his desire for a trade.
“Because we’ve seen the evidence,” Goodell explained. “[Judge Robinson] was very clear about the evidence. . . that there were multiple violations here, and they were egregious and it was predatory behavior. Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that’s responsible.”
As things stand today, Watson is eligible to practice and participate in exhibition games. He is on track to travel with the Browns and could start Friday’s preseason opener at the Jacksonville Jaguars.