Albert Breer of The MMQB joined Afternoon Drive on The Fan to talk about the latest with Deshaun Watson's discipline hearing with arbitrator Sue L. Robinson.
According to Breer, Robinson "wasn't happy" with certain details of the hearings surfacing in media reports.
And Breer believes that information could be coming from league sources -- in anticipation of a potentially favorable ruling for Watson.
"What I can tell you definitively is the NFL wants an indefinite suspension, which falls under the term 'banishment' in the CBA. Which basically means that you're out for a year, and you have the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after a year. That's the maximum penalty you can get. And the settlement talks between Watson and the league broke down on the league insisting on at least a year. ...
"Again, my understanding is Robinson is upset that some of this stuff is becoming public. Well, why would it become public? The only thing I can think of is because the league is concerned she's going to rule and say 'six games, eight games, 10 games' -- whatever it is -- and the league wants to have its side of it out there before this becomes official.
"If the league was confident she was going to give Watson at least a year, there'd be no reason to get your side of the story out there. In fact, you'd be trying to keep that under wraps because you wouldn't want to piss off the judge."
Complicating matters for the league, according to Breer, is that Watson's case is the first to go through the recently negotiated arbitration process for the personal conduct policy.
"This process, whether you like it or not, like the NFLPA signed off on it. ... I would point out that there has been a real effort from the owners to get the league out of these sorts of things. It traces back really, I mean you could go back and look at Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson -- it probably goes all the way back there, with how they ended up with egg on their face collectively coming out of that.
"But if you really want to pinpoint when things turned, I'd say it was probably the Ezekiel Elliott case. Jerry Jones was very aggressive, inside and out of their meetings, in telling people like 'we should not be in the business of getting in front of law enforcement, superseding law enforcement, and so we should let law enforcement take its course, have a process in place, and not act as judge, jury and executioner, because we're going to wind up in court too much. ...
"I think that the league absolutely wants to sit down Deshaun for the entire season, but they understand the optics if they don't. But the other side of this is, they put a process in place that sort of has been like 6-7 years in the making based on everything they've gone through. And do they really on the first chance they have want to completely cut through that process and just make a point? ... I think it would really do a lot of damage to a process that they really thought was a fair one when they negotiated it two years ago."
Elsewhere, Breer discusses whether Baker Mayfield left the door open to a return to the Browns with his latest comments, and whether there are other quarterback options the Browns could consider.