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AP sources: Talks on possible Watson settlement progress

Talks between the NFL and NFL Players Association on a discipline settlement for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson have progressed. However, it’s uncertain whether the two sides will reach a deal, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

The sides are seeking a compromise before any punishment is handed down by Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general who was appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to rule on the league’s appeal of a six-game suspension already imposed on Watson by an independent disciplinary officer.

Last week, the AP was told Watson was willing to accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine. The league has been seeking a lengthier punishment for Watson, who was accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by two dozen women in Texas.

The three-time Pro Bowl QB was allegedly sexually inappropriate with the women during massage therapy appointments while he played for the Houston Texans. Watson settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits filed by the women.

It’s not known if Harvey is waiting for the sides to exhaust any possibilities of a settlement before ruling.

A settlement could get Watson on the field this season for the Browns, who traded three first-round draft picks — and five overall — for one of the game’s top QBs in March and signed him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.

Burrow’s recovery

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow says he’s trying to gain back the weight and strength he lost after having surgery to remove his ruptured appendix three weeks ago. The goal is for the QB to be mobile and sharp by the time Cincinnati opens the regular season on Sept. 11 against AFC North rival Pittsburgh.

The 25-year-old Burrow said he feels better every day, but doesn’t expect to play in the two remaining preseason games. Coach Zac Taylor said the remaining team practices will be designed to get Burrow ready to go for Week 1.

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