Now that the NFL has appealed Deshaun Watson decision NFL, what’s next?
The Personal Conduct Policy and the relevant provision of the Collective Agreement determine the next steps.
Here is the relevant language from the Personal Conduct Policy: “Such appeals will: (i) be processed expeditiously; (ii) limited to the conditions of prescribed discipline; and (iii) based on a review of the existing record without regard to evidence or testimony not previously considered. No additional evidence or testimony shall be presented or admitted to the Commissioner or his designee. Any findings of fact and evidentiary rulings of the Disciplinary Officer will be binding on the parties on appeal, and the decision of the Commissioner or his designee that may vacate, reduce, modify or increase any previously imposed discipline will be final and binding on all. for parties”.
Since there is no new evidence, there is no reason for a new hearing. Neither the Personal Conduct Policy nor the CBA require an appeal to be heard. Instead, both sides simply need to submit their documents to Commissioner Roger Goodell or whoever he appoints to make the same decision he would make.
In this particular case, the findings of fact and evidence made by Judge Sue L. Robinson give the commissioner or his designee all the ammunition they need to change her six-game suspension to something more. It found that Watson violated three different policies involving four different people. Nothing in her decision to suspend Watson for six games precludes Goodell or his designee from implementing a much longer suspension.
This is the most important thing to remember. Judge Robinson found the facts. And the facts she found are exactly what the NFL wanted. Although the NFL didn’t like her decision on the length of the suspension, the policy allows the NFL to appeal the decision to the NFL and change her six-game suspension to whatever the NFL wants. .