Deshaun Watson rejected a settlement offer from the NFL that would have put him on hold for less than a year, says report

With the NFL now appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, there’s a very real chance his sentence could get worse in the coming weeks.

The NFL originally wanted Watson to be suspended for at least a year, and now, the league will actually pursue that, according to CBS Sport NFL Insider’s Jonathan Jones. Although Judge Sue Robinson ordered a six-game suspension, Thursday’s Roger Goodell appointed former New Jersey AG Peter C. Harvey to oversee the appeal hearing, Jones confirmed. Harvey will now have the final say on the case.

The NFL’s filing of an appeal in a case where the NFL is responsible for the appeal process makes it difficult to imagine a scenario in which the NFL would not add a significant amount of games to Watson’s suspension.

Watson could have avoided all of this if he had settled his case with the NFL and had a chance to do so before Robinson delivered her verdict on Monday. according to to ESPN.comIn the days before Robinson’s rule, the NFL and Camp Watson tried to come to a compromise.

Although the NFL wanted to see Watson suspended for an entire year, the league was willing to cut that number down in a settlement. according to ESPN And the Sports Illustratedthe NFL’s final settlement offer was as follows: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and also be fined from $8 million to $10 million.

Watson’s side dropped the offer as he was not willing to accept any deal that would suspend the midfielder for more than six to eight matches. Watson was also not willing to accept a large fine, According to

Basically, Watson made a gamble by not accepting the NFL offer and it looks like he’s going to lose that gamble more and more. If Watson had accepted a 12-game suspension, he could have put all of this behind him, but instead, he could now be suspended indefinitely for at least one year.

At this point, it looks like a file best case Watson’s script now suspends 12 games. With his six-game suspension currently under appeal, it gives the two sides more time to work out a potential settlement, which means Watson could get another chance to strike a deal with the NFL.

The fact that the NFL was willing to agree to a 12-game ban in a potential settlement — rather than a year-long suspension — is no coincidence. according to to Yahoo SportsThe NFL absolutely doesn’t want to see Watson play Texas In Week 13 and one way to stop him from doing that is to get him suspended for 12 games (if he gets 12 suspensions, the Texas game will be the last game he has to sit on).

If there is no settlement and Watson ends up being suspended by the NFL, there is a very real chance that this case will end in federal court. However, CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson I mentioned on Thursday that Watson’s camp has not made a decision about filing a federal lawsuit. According to Anderson, Watson’s legal team will wait to see what happens on the appeal. If the suspension is raised up to 12 games, they may just go along with it and not file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if he gets a ban of a year or more, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if a lawsuit is filed.

No matter what happens, this is not over yet. As for the appeal process, the Watson camp has until Friday to respond to the NFL’s appeal. After that, the decision to suspend Watson will fall directly into Harvey’s hands.