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2022 Training Camp Questions: Will NFL Appeal Deshaun Watson’s 6-Game Suspension?

Guess what, folks. It’s training camp time. And that means it’s time for training camp questions. For the first time since 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe after having been forced to remain in Pittsburgh, where they held their past two training camps inside of the Field Formerly Known as Heinz.

Even though the Steelers are back on very familiar ground, more specifically on that of Chuck Noll Field, this is a training camp that is unusually full of certainty. After all, they haven’t had a genuine quarterback battle in a couple of decades, but they have one now with Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph.

We’ve got yet another new offensive line, with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is in at inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can return to form after last year’s dismal display.

There’s still so much going on, and training camp will only create more questions as we go along, even as it starts to provide some answers. We’ll be covering them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Will the NFL appeal the six-game suspension decision handed down by Sue Robinson?

For the first time since the most recent CBA installed one, Deshaun Watson had a jointly-appointed disciplinary officer evaluate the league’s claim against him, arguing for an indefinite suspension of at least a year.

The disciplinary officer, Sue Robinson, determined that a six-game suspension was just, based on prior precedent, even while accepting that the current case is…unprecedented. While the CBA, however, appoints a joint disciplinary officer, the appeals process would still be presided by commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL has learned in recent years that public outcry is bad for business, and they have more willingly adapted to the winds of public opinion as a result. The response to a six-game suspension for Watson has not been kind, so many expect that the league will indeed appeal.

It’s more or less within Goodell’s authority to just plop down the discipline that he wanted to give in the first place, and he also knows that it’s what the preponderance of the public wants. After all, he is accused of sexually harassing or assaulting dozens of women.

Robinson provided the league with the ammunition it needs. She essentially assented to their entire account of the events, and even went so far as to describe Watson as remorseless. The only discrepancy was over what just punishment was for the crime, and even she acknowledged the unprecedented nature of said crime.

The league has until Thursday morning to formally issue an appeal to the ruling. I would imagine once the wheels are in motion, it shouldn’t take that long. The Browns already know that they won’t have Watson at the start of the season, so it shouldn’t change any timelines or plans.

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