The Browns’ 2022 schedule contains no clues regarding any eventual Deshaun Watson suspension. That’s apparently because the folks responsible for making the schedule have no clue what’s going to happen with an eventual Deshaun Watson suspension.
Along with the rest of us.
NFL V.P. of broadcast scheduling Mike North appeared with Adam Schein on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio on Friday. Schein asked whether Watson’s status impacted the scheduling decisions for the Browns.
“The honest answer to you question is no,” North said as to whether the scheduling process considered Watson’s availability. “None of us know. None of us knows if he’s gonna be all year, if he’s not gonna be here at all. None of us knows what is gonna happen at all, and it might not happen this year. I don’t know enough about the legal system, but we could be a year or two away from all of these things finally settling. The answer to your question is no. And as you look at the Cleveland schedule, you see that they have a national television game in Week Three, a national television game in Week Eight, an opportunity to be back on national television on NFL Network in the Saturday pool in Week 15. So there’s a game in the first third, a game in the middle, a game in the last third. No idea what’s gonna happen. I don’t know anything more than you do at this point. So the honest answer to your question is we really didn’t think about it.”
Implicit in his explanation is the fact that, if they had known the number of games, if any, that Watson will miss, that would have been a factor. The uncertainty resulted in the league peppering two national games and a potential third NFLN game throughout the slate.
North separately admitted that the league considered one specific factor in crafting the schedule — the game between the Browns and Texans in Houston. That game happens in Week 13.
“We knew that Houston and Cleveland were obviously gonna play each other this year,…