There remains no clarity on what lies ahead for Deshaun Watson. After being bombarded with sexual assault complaints, the three-time Pro Bowler could be forced out of the entire 2022-23 NFL season.

For now, the initial penalty was handed to the 26-year-old play-caller of the Cleveland Browns in six games. However, the NFL is appealing to make it longer with commissioner Roger Goodell seeking at least a full-season ban.

But according to Pro Football Network, the NFL and the NFL Players Association are now in active settlement negotiations to possibly reach a compromise concerning Watson’s case.

Judge Sue L. Robinson recommended a six-game ban on Watson who is facing 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct. Goodell wants a full-season ban on Watson after a league investigation saw a pattern of predatory behavior of the 2020 NFL Passing Yards leader in dozens of private messages.

As things stand now, the fate of Watson lies in the hands of New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. Known for previously upholding the NFL’s suspension of Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, the former prosecutor is expected to lengthen the suspension of Watson in the forthcoming appeal.

Hence, there is a possibility that Watson could be given an indefinite ban. But a potential settlement between the NFL and NFLPA, representing Watson, could theoretically lengthen the six-game ban without forcing the QB to miss all of 2022, CBS Sports reported.

Closely monitoring the Watson situation are the Browns who need to figure out who their starting quarterback will be for the coming NFL season. If Watson is suspended, Jacoby Brissett is likely to inherit the starting QB duties. Other play-callers that Cleveland has right now include Josh Rosen and Joshua Dobbs.

The Browns are also linked to several quarterbacks in the market. Jimmy Garoppolo has been mentioned as a possible solution although the two-time Super Bowl champion’s salary is something that could make it tough to close a deal with the Niners for Garoppolo.

Deshaun Watson
Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns speaks during his press conference introducing him to the Cleveland Browns at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

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