NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is pushing for the league to hand Deshaun Watson a stiffer punishment than a six-game suspension. On Tuesday, Goodell commented on the matter while attending a league meeting transitioning ownership of the Denver Broncos to the Walton-Penner family.
“We’ve seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,” Goodell told reporters, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.
“There were multiple violations that were egregious and it was predatory behavior.”
Eight days ago, independent disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson handed the Cleveland Browns quarterback a six-game suspension after reviewing arguments brought forth by the NFL and Watson’s legal representatives. Robinson condemned the actions of the quarterback that were outlined in the evidence presented to her, but she argued that she was limited to a six-game penalty due to precedent set forth in previous suspensions. After learning of the suspension, the NFL appealed the penalty and Watson countered. Goodell and the NFL are now seeking a suspension of at least one year or longer.
In addition to discussing the penalties levied against Watson, the commissioner also commented on the sanctions given to the Dolphins. Former Miami Dolphins Head Coach alleges that the team’s owner, Stephen Ross, offered him monetary rewards in exchange for losing games that would improve the Dolphins draft position. The Dolphins were also accused of violating the league’s anti-tampering policy when speaking with Sean Payton and Tom Brady. Ross denied these allegations, but he was fined $1.5 million and the team lost multiple draft picks.
“Well several things, the integrity of the game is critically important,” Goodell said.
“I think the findings are very clear … and while tanking clearly did not happen here, we all have to understand our words, our actions have implications and we have to be careful.”