NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell comments on the Deshaun Watson case

PALM BEACH, Fla. — A resolution of the NFL investigation into Deshaun Watson’s conduct could take time, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday.

The quarterback, who is now with Cleveland after a trade from Houston, will not face criminal charges of sexual misconduct by 22 women. He still faces 22 civil lawsuits.

Goodell said there was “no timeline” for the NFL to complete the investigation.

“We’re going to be guided by the facts and find whatever facts we can find,” Goodell said. β€œAt least there is a resolution from the criminal side. Our investigation will hopefully have access to more information. We will speak to anyone who can give us perspective.”

Regarding a possible suspension of Watson, Goodell noted that a disciplinary officer appointed jointly by the league and the players’ union would make that decision. But he dismissed thoughts that Watson would be placed on the commissioner’s exemption list, which would prevent him from attending Brown’s activities, including matches.

Roger Goodell and Deshaun Watson
Roger Goodell and Deshaun Watson
AP; USA TODAY sports

Watson sat out the entire 2021 season in Houston despite remaining on the Texan roster and getting paid. The team chose to make him inactive each week.

“I think at this point the civil process wouldn’t trigger that,” Goodell said of the exemption list.

Watson signed a record-breaking $230 million full-guarantee contract that includes a $1 million base salary in the first season in the event he is suspended from the NFL. When asked if he was concerned about this type of contract, Goodell said it would not affect Watson’s discipline.

“We take the Personal Conduct Policy very seriously and require no criminal (charge),” Goodell noted. “A decision is made about whether there should be a discipline and what it is.”

In similar previous cases involving such civil charges, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat out four games, then Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott missed six games. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell comments on the Deshaun Watson case


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