Goodell picked Peter C. Harvey, an N.F.L. adviser and former New Jersey lawyer basic, to listen to the league’s enchantment of the preliminary ban. As Harvey thought of the enchantment, settlement talks between the league and the gamers union continued. Earlier than beginning the Browns’ first preseason sport in Jacksonville, Fla., final Friday, Watson issued his first apology “to the entire girls that I’ve impacted on this state of affairs,” in a quick interview with a member of the Browns preseason broadcast group.
“The choices that I made in my life that put me on this place, I’d positively wish to have again, however I wish to proceed to maneuver ahead and develop and be taught and present that I’m a real particular person of character,” Watson mentioned.
In its enchantment for harsher self-discipline, the N.F.L. had pointed to Watson’s lack of regret, an element Robinson additionally cited in her ruling. Watson, who has steadfastly denied the accusations in opposition to him, settled this summer season 23 of the 24 lawsuits filed in opposition to him by girls who mentioned he harassed or assaulted them in therapeutic massage appointments.
Watson will proceed to be eligible to take part in practices and preseason video games. His suspension will start the week of the Browns’ regular-season opener in opposition to the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 11.
After the primary accuser filed a lawsuit in opposition to Watson in March 2021, Goodell opted to not place him on the Commissioner’s exempt checklist, which might have granted Watson paid depart because the allegations have been investigated. Watson sat out the 2021 N.F.L. season after asking that his former group, the Houston Texans, commerce him.
The group did so in March 2022 after a Texas grand jury declined to cost Watson. At the very least 4 groups recruited Watson’s companies, and the Browns received what grew to become a bidding struggle, at the least partly as a result of they have been keen to ensure his complete contract. Watson’s base wage is about $1 million this season, a provision which ensures that Watson will forfeit solely a small portion of his total compensation this 12 months, for video games missed whereas serving suspension.
The deal led to questions on whether or not the Browns, Falcons, Panthers and different groups bidding for Watson’s companies have been dismissive of the allegations made in opposition to him. Browns proprietor Jimmy Haslam has mentioned that he helps Watson however final week advised reporters that he’ll respect the league’s judiciary course of.