The Cleveland Browns have backed themselves into a corner with controversial quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The Cleveland Browns surely knew what they were getting into when they made a significant trade with the Texans last season to acquire controversial quarterback 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.
This acquisition came on the heels of a 2021 season in which Watson did not throw a single pass for Houston, instead, spending the season on the sidelines for “non-injury reasons / personal matters”.
Part of the blockbuster trade involved Cleveland signing Watson to a brand new, fully guaranteed contract in the form of a five-year, $230MM deal, one that they are now stuck with through thick and thin, something that the team surprisingly seems to be fine with.
Browns have backed themselves into a corner with their current quarterback situation
On the heels of a lengthy and ugly lawsuit against Watson in which he had 24 accusedrs of sexual assault, his reputation is permanently tainted and he may bring the Browns down with him. The 26-year-old is in for a serious payday whether he throws a single snap for the club or not over the next season or even two seasons.
With the Browns being largely hush-hush on the matter of Watson and his off-the-field issues, one thing the team cannot shy away from is looking ahead to the upcoming season. Four-year quarterback Baker Mayfield remains on the team’s payroll but his relationship with the Browns front office and coaching staff has soured to the point where he should not be able to play another game in Cleveland.
That pushes the QB depth chart all the way down to the No. 3 and No. 4 options in Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs. Brissett, a 29-year-old journeyman, has not been an everyday starter since 2019 with the Colts and Dobbs has just 17 pass attempts under his belt in his career with zero touchdowns and an interception.
Whether it is via the free-agent market, trade market, or in-house personnel, the Browns have backed themselves into a corner with their current QB situation with the impending suspension of Deshaun Watson. It remains to be seen what exactly the team will do to stay afloat in the upcoming campaign.