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Greg Papa breaks down NFL appealing Watson suspension, what it means for Garoppolo

© Jeff Lange | 2022 Aug 2

In an expected move, the NFL appealed a judge’s ruling that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshuan Watson will be suspended for six games due to sexual misconduct. According to ESPN, the league is seeking an indefinite suspension, something commissioner Roger Goodell is likely to hand down in the coming days.

Doing so will likely lead to a lawsuit from the NFL Players Association, leaving Watson’s fate into the hands of the courts. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk said on KNBR earlier this week that a court is unlikely to overturn whatever the NFL decides.

On Wednesday after news broke about the league’s appeal, Greg Papa of KNBR talked about the situation at length, including how it could affect Jimmy Garoppolo. Papa has long reported that the Browns are interested in Garoppolo should Watson face a lengthy suspension.

Here are Papa’s comments from today’s show, edited for brevity:

The news now is that the NFL is doing what we thought they would do. They’re appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension. So what it means now is that it goes back to Deshaun Watson, his representation, DeMaurice Smith and the NFL Players Association. They have two days to respond to Goodell’s appeal.

Whether or not Roger makes the decision himself or if he has a designee do it, it’s going to come from Park Avenue and the league.

What the appeal means is they are going to change the suspension more than likely, almost assuredly. They’re going back to maybe the biggest mistake this administration made with doling out punishment, it goes back to Ray Rice. It was an embarrassing initial suspension, they had to overturn that. Ray Rice wound up never playing the the NFL again. There are still people that work in the league office that went through that and somehow kept their jobs, they don’t want to do that again.

Let’s assume that the commissioner increases this substantially. What we heard is they were outraged by the six games, they thought it was woefully inadiquate, what they want is an idefinite suspension for Deshaun Watson. So what if they come back and the appeal is heard, and the commissioner or his designee says Deshaun is suspended indefinitely. Then what does Deshaun Watson’s people do?

There’s going to be a lawsuit then. Deshaun and his people will sue. The NFL Players Association will sue. Then the question is, what happens when this is all being litigated? Does it go on the court docket right away? These things take time.

What does that mean for the Cleveland Browns and their quarterback position? We knew right away that six was a minimum he was going to get and more than likely he would get an indefinite. So what does that mean?

Will it be 16, will it be 17, will it get into next year? And then that impacts just how the Cleveland Browns handle this. Jacoby Brissett is their quarterback for now. They’ve got a couple of Josh’s on the roster behind him. Are you joshing me? They’re going to go out and improve their quarterback situation, and the question is the healing of Jimmy Garoppolo and where he’s at as far as the shoulder and could he be in play.

There’s definitely interest from Cleveland for Jimmy Garoppolo. Might this be the 49ers’ way to trade Jimmy Garoppolo? Would Cleveland wait until he’s cut on August 30 assuming the 49ers do that? Then they’d have to compete with everybody as a street free agent.

I don’t know where this goes, but Deshaun is going to miss more than six games that’s for sure.


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