Watson’s disciplinary hearing ended 11 days ago and post-hearing written arguments are now due to the hearing officer, former Federal Judge Sue L. Robinson.
Robinson, who presided over the three-day hearing, will then go over the paperwork and make her decision.
She will decide if Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy and if he should be punished. That decision could be made at any time.
Twenty-four women sued Watson claiming sexual misconduct during massage sessions. Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits last month.
Sources close to the case say, during the NFL hearing, “no credible evidence” came out about Watson using any threat or force.
About half of the women spoke to league investigators. The I-Team learned that the goal is to get a decision on punishment before training camp starts in two weeks.
We’ve also learned the final written arguments even have limits. The NFL gets 30 pages. Lawyers for Deshaun Watson get 15 pages and the union gets 15 pages. No one involved can go on endlessly.
Watson met with NFL investigators several times. He and his attorneys told us he cooperated fully.
He recently spoke at a news conference and said, “I never assaulted, harassed or disrespected anyone. But, at the same time, I do have regrets as far as the impact on the community.”
He also spoke about meeting with the NFL and said, “I did everything they asked me to do. I answered every question truthfully.”
Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee has represented all 24 women. He previously told the I-Team that the NFL spoke to about half of his clients. He called the NFL investigation a farce.
However, the I-Team has reported, Buzbee recently filed papers in civil court demanding records from that same NFL investigation and hearing on it.
Rusty Hardin, lead lawyer for Deshaun Watson, indicated months ago that any ruling from the NFL may not be the end of the disciplinary process.
Hardin said in April, “The NFL gets to make their decision and then if we disagree, we appeal.”
Meanwhile, it’s unclear how or if the settlements of the lawsuits might impact any discipline.
Additionally, documents filed in court announcing the settlements do not show the terms of those agreements.