NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the investigation surrounding Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson on Tuesday, and revealed he does not anticipate placing him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List if the process is not finished close to the start of the season.
Goodell added that there is no timetable for when the league may discipline the quarterback, as their investigation remains ongoing.
Two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on allegations of sexual misconduct this past month. Watson still faces 22 civil lawsuits.
“Our people are working on (the investigation),” Goodell said Tuesday. “Obviously, these are serious charges. We’re looking at this seriously. We now have obviously at least resolution from the criminal side of it. Obviously there are still civil charges that are going on. So our investigators hopefully will have access to more information, and that will be helpful obviously in getting to the conclusion of what are the facts and was there a violation of the personal-conduct policy. But that determination will be made by a joint disciplinary officer that was established by the NFLPA and the NFL. She will make that decision when the facts are all in, and we’ll see. There’s no time frame on that.”
As for the idea of Goodell interviewing Watson himself, he said that would be up to the league’s investigators.
“That’s something that they will make the determination of when to do that, or who to do that with,” Goodell said. “They’re the ones that met with some of the people that have information that we want to know. We will speak to everybody who could give us a perspective and try to get to the bottom line and the facts.”
After waiving his no-trade clause, Watson was dealt to the Cleveland Browns on March 18 and promptly given a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract.