The NFLPA Could Target 3 Prominent Owners In Their Defense Of A Potentially ‘Unprecedented’ Suspension Of Deshaun Watson

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  • A recent report claims that the NFL could be looking to send a message in the Deshaun Watson ruling
  • A source of Mike Florio claims the suspension could be “unprecedented”
  • The NFLPA could target prominent NFL owners in its defense of the star passer

Things just took an interesting turn in the Deshaun Watson sexual misconduct case.

The NFL investigation has been dragged out over the last few months of the offseason as the league tries to settle on a decision for the 2022 season. It was believed that the investigation was set to come to a close around the 4th of July holiday, but the NFL opted to slow the process down as new alleged victims continued to come forth.

A new timeline projects that the case could now stretch out into training camp, making things more difficult on the Browns. Since the original investigation began, the allegation total has grown from 22 to 26 accusers. A story by the New York Times didn’t help Watson’s case, either, as it stated that he’d been in contact with more than 60 masseuses over a 17-month period in Houston.

This all added up to the NFL potentially offering an “unprecedented punishment” for the quarterback, per a report from Mike Florio. While it’s not quite clear what that could entail, the NFL Players Association apparently has a defense should the league hand down a penalty deemed too severe.

NFLPA will target 3 owners in defense of Deshaun Watson

According to Florio, the NFLPA has a defense for Watson that includes looking at prior punishments handed down to owners across the NFL. The main targets in this case would be Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones, and Robert Kraft.

Those are three of the highest profile owners in the league, managing three of the NFL’s biggest brands.

[A] source explains that the NFLPA would defend Watson in part by making an aggressive argument premised on the consequences, or lack thereof, imposed on a trio of owners who recently have found themselves embroiled in off-field controversy. The argument will be that the punishment of Watson is not proportional to the punishment of those owners, especially in light of this key line from the Personal Conduct Policy: “Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline when violations of the Personal Conduct Policy occur.”

Snyder has been involved in a bevy of controversy over the last few years, ranging from workplace misconduct to financial deception. It’s gotten to the point where even NFL owners are trying to force him out of the league.

In Kraft’s case, it was a sexual encounter with a masseuse that yielded no punishment. There are obvious similarities to Watson’s situation.

And for Jones, the NFLPA will argue that league failed to investigate the voyeurism scandal involving a Cowboys front office executive.

These cases seem to contradict the league’s policy of ownership being held to a higher standard, and should the NFL be taken to court, it could certainly hold water.

Kraft and Snyder’s lack of punishment, as well as Jones’s lack of an investigation would definitely be relevant to the potential suspension of Deshaun Watson.