The NFL is asking quarterback Deshaun Watson to be banned for at least a season over allegations of sexual abuse.

According to information from the AP news agency, the National Football League made this clear during a three-day hearing before a former district judge.

The defenders of the 26-year-old argued against it and want him to play for his new team in the coming season.

There was initially no date for the decision after the end of the hearing on Thursday (local time).

The Cleveland Browns are hoping for that before the start of practice in late July.

The Ohio State football team signed Watson, who denies doing anything wrong, despite the possibility of a suspension and gave him a five-year, $230 million contract in March.

Sued by 24 women

24 women had civilly sued Watson for sexual abuse.

The criminal case is already settled, two juries in Texas waived an indictment.

Watson last played for the Houston Texans, but was not used because of the allegations last season.

In the meantime, he has agreed on a settlement with 20 of the 24 women.

However, the NFL can also suspend players if they do not receive penalties from the judiciary but have violated the league's rules of conduct.

This has happened several times in the past.

So far, NFL boss Roger Goodell was the decision-maker here, but according to a new system, a judge appointed by the league and the players' union is now responsible for the first time.

However, should the NFL or Watson's representatives challenge their decision, Goodell would have jurisdiction.