On Sunday night, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and Watson released a joint statement, saying they will not appeal, regardless of the decision, and they ask the NFL to do the same.
“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding,” NFLPA said in a statement. “First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation.
“A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially.
“Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”
The NFL declined to comment when asked about the report and the joint statement.
If Watson is suspended, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed to reporters that Jacoby Brissett will start for the team. The Browns traded former starter and first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers earlier in July. Watson was traded to the Browns in March.
Watson did not play last season while a member of the Houston Texans because of investigations into the allegations of misconduct including sexual assault and harassment involving more than two dozen women. Watson has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.
In June, Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits brought by women accusing him of misconduct, according to an attorney for 24 accusers.
In July, 30 women who “have made, or intended to make, claims” against the Houston Texans organization over the sexual misconduct allegations against former Watson, have settled their claims, according to a release from the claimants’ attorney Tony Buzbee and a statement issued by the Houston Texans’ ownership.