Deshaun Watson's lawyer stated last month that they expected to hear from the NFL in June. Tomorrow marks the halfway point of June. There is no sign that the league is in any hurry to accomplish anything.
However, it is rare that there is any indication of what the league will do until it does. Time is critical if the league wants to suspend Watson for the start of the 2022 season without paying him.
It's a three-step process. The league office proposes discipline. The second step is the Disciplinary Office, retired judge Sue L. Robinson, which evaluates the case and conducts a hearing if necessary before making a decision. The third step is to appeal Judge Robinson's decision not to impose any discipline (which would stop the process). His decision is final.
It will take some time to complete the second and third steps. It must be resolved by Week One at the earliest. The Browns should have an answer by the beginning of training camp. The Browns shouldn't be complaining about the uncertainty at the moment; they created this bed.
Two more lawsuits are expected to be filed, increasing the total to 26. With no indication of the final count, it makes more sense for Watson to take a paid leave from his career to focus on these 26 cases and counting.
It is important to know the difference between unpaid suspensions and paid leave. Judge Robinson is involved in the first. The Commissioner is the only one who makes the call for the latter. Paid leave is the best option for Watson if the league wants to sideline him until the litigation has been resolved.
How can the league ignore Watson until the cases are over? How many cases are necessary to bring the league to this point if it isn't?