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The Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson and their fanbase want to move forward into training camp and the 2022 season. The NFL wants to move forward from there over a year-long investigation into improper sexual conduct of Watson.
Once the NFL actually concludes its investigation, it will turn over its findings to the independent arbitrator. Watson’s camp will do the same before the arbitrator, Sue Robinson, rules.
If Robinson decides that Watson did not violate the NFL’s policy, the case is closed. If Robinson decides that Watson did violate the NFL’s policy, she will make a decision on discipline that either side can appeal but Roger Goodell hears that appeal.
According to Albert Breer, June 30th looms as an important date for the NFL’s investigation:
My understanding is the league is likely to wait until June 30 has passed, allowing for the most information possible to be produced in the court proceeding before making a decision. So July seems like a good bet, as to the timing of a call coming from the NFL on Watson.
Watson’s side, seemingly, would be ready to turn their information in shortly after but the arbitrator may need significant time to review all the findings. If the NFL concludes its investigation on July 1st, it will be interesting how long until Robinson makes a decision.
Anyone expecting a “Friday news dump” soon related to the Watson investigation will probably be disappointed. Sometime in July seems the most likely.