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An NFLPA lawsuit on behalf of Deshaun Watson likely wouldn’t impact first six games of season

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Although both Tom Brady as well as Ezekiel Elliott lost their legal wars with the NFL, both scoring important initial victories. They were allowed to continue playing while the lawsuits challenging their suspension continued.

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This experience has led many to speculate that if the NFL Players Association filed suit on behalf of the Browns quarterback, Deshawn Watson after (as expected) the NFL drastically extends the six-game suspension imposed on Watson by referee Sue L. Robinson, Watson will be available for the first game of the regular season at Carolina and all other games until his case is resolved. This is unlikely to happen here for two reasons.

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First, if the NFLPA doesn’t appeal the six-game suspension by Thursday, six games will be a given. The question arises whether Watson will be able to play from the seventh week in Baltimore. Neither the Brady cases nor the Elliott cases had the flaws that Watson presents, where the player was not fighting an existing suspension but objecting to something longer.

Secondly, a court order allowing a player to play while a lawsuit is in progress is not easy to obtain. The judge considers various factors, including the likelihood that the player will win the case on the merits. If the NFL files a first lawsuit (more on this in a separate post) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York before the NFL sues in a forum that would be more favorable to Watson, a decisive precedent (thanks to the cases of Brady and Watson ) will reinforce the argument that Watson is likely to lose the case.

Remember, judges like it when individuals create their own dispute resolution system. Judges who are not paid by the hour or by the case prefer not to interfere. The NFL and NFLPA have established a system for imposing and removing disciplinary action in accordance with the Personal Conduct Policy. Barring evidence that the NFL deviated in some material way from the agreed terms, the case should indeed end with the NFL’s decision on appeal.



Source: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

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