Settlement ‘very possible’ for Browns’ Deshaun Watson after he expresses remorse over actions?

After appeals officer and former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey failed to announce a ruling as it pertains to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson ahead of Friday’s preseason opener at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Watson publicly apologized “to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation” regarding allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.

It appears those words could do both Watson and the Browns some good. 

Before Friday’s developments, it was reported that “an agreed resolution between the NFL and the NFL Players Association could still happen” even as the league appeals the six-game suspension for Watson initially recommended by NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson. While the NFL wants Watson to be ineligible for a year, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote on Monday afternoon that sources say a “settlement remains very possible” between the sides as the Browns prepare to host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. 

“Watson’s sudden turn toward remorse is surely part of the effort to negotiate a better outcome than the one he’d otherwise experience,” Florio added. 

The 26-year-old previously denied any wrongdoing and had his legal camp settle 23 of 24 civil lawsuits brought against him. Two grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges.

“Real or not, Watson apparently realized he was closing in on being caught on the wrong side of checkmate,” Florio explained. “Even if the NFL Players Association has grand plans for a federal-court challenge to a longer suspension, the fact remains that the NFL has consistently prevailed — and that the CBA was specifically negotiated to reserve final say to the league after other high-profile suspensions made their way through the court system.” 

A report emerged last week that Watson “would accept an eight-game suspension and $5M fine to avoid missing the entire season,” but it’s unknown if the NFL is offering that exact punishment in any settlement discussions. As things stand today, Watson remains available to practice and play against Philadelphia and the Chicago Bears on Aug. 27. 

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