The three-day hearing in the matter of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has ended. So when will Judge Sue L. Robinson issue a decision?
Per multiple reports, she has asked the two sides to submit written briefs in support of their respective positions by Monday, July 11. At that point, she’ll have everything she needs to make a ruling.
When she does, she’ll generate a written document, possibly 20 pages in length or longer. It will make findings of fact that will be binding on the appeals process. She will then apply the Personal Conduct Policy and any other relevant considerations to those facts in order to make a decision.
Our guess (and it’s just a guess) is that a decision will come by Monday, July 25. Then, the appeals process potentially will unfold — unless she decides to impose no discipline at all.
Again, her factual findings will be binding on the appeals process. Those findings also will go a long way toward helping media and fans understand the reasoning for the ultimate decision.
We fully expect the written decision from Judge Robinson to be published. When it comes to players, there’s always transparency. If Watson will be punished not very harshly or not at all, the league needs to hope that Judge Robinson makes a clear and persuasive explanation for the outcome. The league also will need to publish her decision for all to see, not sweep it under the rug like it did with the Commanders situation.