Deshaun Watson’s appeal will proceed on paper only, with no hearing

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Now that the NFL has appealed Deshaun Watson’s decision to the NFL, what happens next?

The Personal Conduct Policy and the relevant provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement set forth the following steps.

Here is the relevant language from the Personal Conduct Policy: ‚ÄúSuch appeals will be: (i) processed on an expedited basis; (ii) limited to consideration of the terms of the discipline imposed; and (iii) based on a review of the existing record without reference to evidence or testimony not previously considered. The Commissioner or his designee will not present or accept any additional evidence or testimony. All findings of fact and evidentiary determinations of the Disciplinary Officer shall be binding on the parties on appeal, and the decision of the Commissioner or his designee, which may vacate, reduce, modify or increase previously issued discipline, shall be final and binding on all. parties.”

Since there is no new evidence, there is no reason for a new hearing. Neither the Personal Conduct Policy nor the CBA requires an appeal hearing. Instead, it is simply a case of both parties submitting their paperwork to Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee to reach the same decision he would make.

In this specific case, the factual findings and evidentiary determinations made by Judge Sue L. Robinson give the Commissioner or his designee all the ammunition necessary to replace his six-game suspension with something else. She found that Watson violated three different provisions of the policy regarding four different people. Nothing about his decision to suspend Watson for six games limits Goodell’s or his designee’s ability to implement a much longer suspension.

That is the most important thing to remember. Judge Robinson determined the facts. And the facts he determined are exactly what the NFL wanted them to be. Although the NFL did not like his decision regarding the length of the suspension, the NFL has the ability, under policy, to appeal the decision to the NFL and replace his six-game suspension with whatever the NFL prefers it to be. . .

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