March 19, 2022

Cleveland Browns Sell Their Soul for DeShawn Watson: After a grand jury decided not to charge Deshaun Watson, the embattled quarterback auditioned new teams to see who could sink lower in their pursuit of him. The Cleveland Browns won. Or lost, depending on how you look at it.

posted by The_Black_Hand to football at 12:12 PM - 8 comments

This offseason is historic. So many enormous moves in one week.

I was shocked that a team took such a big risk on Watson when he's still facing a league suspension. The allegations kept teams away from him for an entire season while he sat. The Browns deal is what I'd expect a QB with his talent to get when there's not a hint of scandal attached to him.

Cynically I think the outrage over this move is going to fade if the Browns are good, and I expect they will be when he's on the field.

posted by rcade at 01:06 PM on March 19, 2022

This is a very disappointing signing.

posted by bender at 01:44 PM on March 19, 2022

Couple notes here that I find interesting.

*The ENTIRE contract is guaranteed. This has never happened in the NFL at this scale before. Second place on the guaranteed money list is Mahomes... $141,481,905. Watson is almost 100m clear of that number. Eye-popping stuff.

*The Browns restructured Watson's deal so that he is only making $1m in salary this year. That way, when he serves his suspension, he's only losing out on a minimal amount of money -- games missed to suspension mean that he'd be losing game checks, but those game checks are artificially small now. This was absolutely done intentionally, and is the first time I can recall a team working with a player to deliberately circumvent a fine/fiscal punishment

*I strongly suspect that this was an act of desperation by Cleveland after botching this the first time around -- once Baker demanded a trade and they denied his request, I think they realized they'd forced their own hand and went back to Watson with sacks of guaranteed dollars.

posted by Goyoucolts at 04:04 PM on March 19, 2022

The big news coming out of the Browns' camp is that they just signed Jacoby Brissett to a deal

posted by NoMich at 05:39 PM on March 19, 2022

The running gag among Bengals fans is that the Browns just sold their collective soul and mortgaged their future to keep having the 3rd best QB in the AFC North.

posted by tahoemoj at 10:10 PM on March 19, 2022

I have my doubts about rating Lamar Jackson higher than Deshaun. There are exploitable deficiencies in the Ravens offense when Lamar can't operate the way he wants to.

There's a sense that Greg Roman is not totally thrilled to have to design an offense around Lamar's skill set. Roman seems more comfortable game planning for Tyler Huntley, and the OL responds well to Huntley's play.

Before Lamar got hurt, he looked like he was becoming progressively more manageable for opposing defenses. Lamar is due to get paid pretty soon; if I was a GM I wouldn't want to be on the hook for that contract.

posted by beaverboard at 01:37 AM on March 20, 2022

Why am I not surprised the NFL was okay with this obviously evasive contract?!?!

posted by billsaysthis at 05:46 PM on March 22, 2022

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