Browns retreat to a corner with Deshaun Watson

The Cleveland Browns have cornered themselves with controversial quarterback Deshaun Watson.

That Cleveland Browns certainly knew what they were getting into when they struck a significant deal with the Texans to acquire the controversial quarterback last season Deshaun Watson. The club landed Watson and a sixth-round pick in the 2024 draft in exchange for first-round picks in each of the 2022, 2023 and 2024 drafts, as well as the Browns’ third-round pick in 2023 and fourth-round picks in 2022 and 2024.

That acquisition followed a 2021 season in which Watson didn’t throw a single pass for Houston, instead spending the season on the sidelines for “non-injury reasons/personal matters.”

Part of the blockbuster deal was Cleveland Watson signing a brand new, fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract, a deal that has now stuck them through thick and thin, something the team surprisingly agreed to seems to be good with.

The Browns have backed themselves into a corner with their current quarterback situation

After a lengthy and ugly trial against Watson, in which he faced 24 sexual assault accusers, his reputation is permanently tarnished and he could take the Browns with him. The 26-year-old has a serious payday ahead of him whether or not he throws a single snap for the club next season or even in two.

With the Browns largely silent about Watson and his off-field troubles, the team can’t be shy about looking ahead to the season ahead. Four-year-old quarterback Baker Mayfield remains on the team’s payroll, but his relationship with the Browns’ front office and coaching staff has deteriorated to the point where he shouldn’t play another game in Cleveland.

That moves the QB depth map all the way down to options #3 and #4 in Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs. Brissett, a 29-year-old journeyman, has not been a regular starter for the Colts since 2019, and Dobbs has had just 17 career pass attempts with zero touchdowns and one interception.

Whether it’s through the free-agent market, the trade market or internal staffing, the Browns have backed themselves into a corner with their current QB situation with Deshaun Watson’s imminent suspension. It remains to be seen what exactly the team will do to stay afloat in the upcoming season. Browns retreat to a corner with Deshaun Watson

John Verrall

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