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The Cleveland Browns will know Deshaun Watson’s future in the NFL very soon.
League sources told ESPN on Saturday that Watson’s hearing before the NFLPA and the league’s jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, is scheduled to begin Tuesday with the NFL pushing for a “lengthy” suspension.
Watson recently agreed to a confidential settlement with 20 of his 24 sexual misconduct accusers. He faced a number of accusations in multiple lawsuits about sexual misconduct with massage therapists. He was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by two Texas grand juries as the suits were filed in the state.
According to the report, one source said the decision could come as early as a week. The Browns open training camp on July 22 for rookies with veterans due on July 26.
If either the union or league appeals Robinson’s decision, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” per terms of Article 46 in the CBA.
Watson has repeatedly denied the allegations which stemmed from his time as quarterback of the Houston Texans. A bombshell report from the New York Times this month alleged that the Texans played a role in enabling the quarterback’s alleged behavior, including providing him with nondisclosure agreements and a venue for his massage habit.
Watson told reporters last week he was still in the process of clearing his name. He again reiterated to reporters he never “forced” or “assaulted” anyone.
“I’ve never forced anyone. I’ve never assaulted anyone. I’ve been saying it from the beginning and I’m going to continue to say it,” Watson said, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “I understand these allegations are very serious. … I’m focused on clearing my name.”
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.