Michael Holley expects the NFL to put Deshaun Watson on exempt list

Michael Holley has a new show Brother From Another with Michael Smith on NBCU. Holley discusses the disturbing Deshaun Watson allegations with FanSided.

The NFL is on the clock.

Now that both Nike and Apple’s Beat by Dre brand have both suspended their endorsement contracts with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson it is seemingly getting more difficult for the NFL to stand idly by as the allegations mount.

Twenty-two separate lawsuits accusing sexual misconduct or harassment have now been filed against Watson, while the Houston police department has opened a criminal investigation. Commissioner Roger Goodell has to be weighing his options with his inner circle.

For a reference point, back in 2010 Goodell suspended Ben Roethlisberger four games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. But that was 2010 and that was one accuser. Different time, different circumstances.

NBC’s Michael Holley has covered sports for three decades and is now hosting a new show Brother from Another with his good friend Michael Smith on NBCU Cable Entertainment’s streaming service, Peacock.

Holley discussed with FanSided what the NFL may ultimately decide to do.

“The NFL front office is just like us, on the phone looking for every single new development because they are on the verge of doing something they have to,” Holley said. “He (Watson) can go to training camp but you gotta know that any moment, if you have old school two-a-day practices, he can be at the morning session and he could be shut down in the afternoon because I think the NFL can’t just sit there and say we will let the process play out. I think they will put him on an exempt list until they get more information.”

The exempt list is for players in unusual circumstances. Only the commissioner can put a player on the list and the commissioner is in charge of removing the player from the list.

Watson’s case does fall under “unusual.” He has received support from 18 massage therapists who vouched for him as a professional client. Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, released statements from all of those therapists attempting to build Watson’s case publicly.

However, the sheer numbers don’t seem normal for a professional athlete who invests in their body.

“Most athletes that I’ve covered are so into their routine that if they have a massage therapist who works for them they stick with one maybe two massage therapists,” Holley said. “If I’m just doing basic math, I’m anywhere for 38 to 40 massage therapists. That gets your attention.”

You can bet the Watson case has the full attention of the NFL. When and what will they do?

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 21:33:14 +0000

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