As NFL’s investigation into Deshaun Watson’s sexual misconduct allegations continue, many have speculated what kind of punishment the Cleveland Browns quarterback will receive.
Some have even pointed to Major League Baseball’s punishment of Trevor Bauer, who was suspended the equivalent of two seasons, as evidence that the NFL will come down hard on Watson in similar fashion.
Both Bauer and Watson have had serious sexual misconduct and assault allegations made against them (Watson from 22 different women), although neither were criminally charged. Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, does not believe there would be any correlation.
“I’m going to try to be an optimist and say it will have no effect at all,” he told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Because it has no logical connection.”
The MLB and NFL are indeed two separate entities, so it is not as if Bauer’s suspension has any precedent with what the NFL decides to do with its Personal Conduct Policy.
Yet, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio noted, it may come down to if the NFL protecting its image and the public relations backlash they may receive if Watson’s punishment pales in comparison to Bauer’s.
When a decision on Watson will come may still be weeks away.
Per Cabot, Hardin said he believes NFL investigators will want to talk to Watson again and expects things to be wrapped up this summer, potentially late June or July.
“We should know what [the NFL’s] position is initially sometime in June, and then everybody will figure out if there’s going to be a hearing about it or can people work things out,” Hardin said. “The only thing that’s certain is that they want to try to get everything done this summer – and earlier than later in the summer.”