Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's hearing before disciplinary officer Sue Robinson, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association, begins on Tuesday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday.
Watson is facing potential discipline from the NFL, which is independently investigating whether he violated the league's personal-conduct policy after Watson was accused of sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions.
Pelissero added Sunday that the NFL is expected to argue for indefinite suspension of at least one year, and then Watson could apply for reinstatement following the 2022 season. Watson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, and the NFLPA's lawyer are expected to argue that neither the alleged violations against Watson nor the precedent of past suspensions handed down by the league support a suspension of that length.
There is no specific timeline on Robinson making her ruling, according to Pelissero, but all parties expect a decision to come before training camp, which begins for Browns veterans on July 26.
In the case either side appeals the initial disciplinary decision, that appeal will be handled by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee, per Pelissero. The subsequent ruling would then be final.
It was announced last Tuesday that Watson had reached confidential settlements with 20 of the 24 women who have filed civil lawsuits alleging he committed sexual misconduct.
Watson has previously denied any wrongdoing and maintained any sex with the women was consensual. Two grand juries in Texas have declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints filed by 10 women.
Watson met with league investigators in May.
"I met with the NFL a couple weeks ago, and I did everything they asked me to do, I answered every question truthfully that the NFL asked me," Watson told Browns reporters on June 14. "I spent hours with the people they brought down, and that's all I can do is just be honest and tell them exactly what happened. I know they have a job and so I have to respect that, and that's what we wanted to do is cooperate. They have to make a decision that's for the league."
Watson has not played in an NFL game since the 2020 season when he was with the Houston Texans. Watson sat out the 2021 season after he requested a trade out of Houston before allegations of sexual misconduct first surfaced in March 2021.
The Browns traded for Watson in March 2022 and signed him to a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract.