CLEVELAND — Earlier this week, a New York Times investigation revealed new details regarding the allegations against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is facing 24 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct.
But while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has previously stated that he wouldn't put the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback on the commissioner's exempt list, one prominent NFL analyst believes that would be the league's best course of action.
"I think paid leave should be back on the table," Pro Football Talk and NBC Sports' Mike Florio told 3News' Jim Donovan on Thursday. "I've asked the league twice this week whether Roger Goodell's comments from late-March about paid leave not being an option still stand -- both times, they said no comment. You can take that however you want. But how hard would it be to say his comments still stand?"
In addition to discussing the possibility of the league putting Watson on the exempt list, Florio speculated how long the Clemson product could be suspended. While he has not been criminally charged as the result of the allegations, Watson is still subject to punishment from the NFL should the league's ongoing investigation find that he violated its personal conduct policy.
"I really believe we're looking at a longer suspension whether it's paid leave or unpaid leave," Florio said. "At the end of the day, the personal conduct policy isn't a justice system. It's a device for ensuring that whatever the NFL does to a player who gets in trouble away from work meshes with expectations."
You can watch Jim's full interview with Florio in the video player above.