Deshaun Watson is set to join the Cleveland Browns and sign a five-year deal. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Watson will make $230 million in the five years he will spend in Cleveland. The $230 million guarantee is the highest-paid deal in NFL history.
The former Houston Texans quarterback will get $184 million in the first four years, which is a $48 million increase to what he would have got had he stayed with the Texans.
Watson more or less confirmed the reports that he was joining the Browns by posting an image of himself in a Cleveland Browns uniform which he captioned with: “Cleveland LETSSSS GOOOO!! Ready To Work!”
The Texans are Rebuilding
According to Nick Caserio, the general manager of the Texans, trading the quarterback was “the right move” for the franchise, as they were looking to rebuild in the next couple of seasons.
Caserio said that their priority was to add young and talented players to the team they have assembled over the past 15 months and that the trade was in line with those plans.
As part of the deal, the Texans will get first-round picks in the NFL draft in three consecutive seasons, in 2022, 2023, and 2024. They will also get a 2023 third-rounder and a 2024 fourth-rounder.
In addition to Deshaun Watson, the Texans will send a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft to the Cleveland Browns too.
A Troubled Season
Watson played no part in the Texans’ NFL campaign last season, after requesting to be traded during the offseason. He cited Caserio being hired by the Texans as their general manager as the reason for requesting a trade.
The quarterback was also the central figure in a sexual assault scandal which resulted in 22 lawsuits against the player. However, after a Texas grand jury didn’t indict him on those criminal charges last week, the teams felt it was the right time to start trade talks which resulted in Watson moving to Cleveland.
The fact that Watson is off the hook, doesn’t mean that he won’t get a punishment from the league, though. Also, the 22 civil cases filed against the quarterback are still active.
Watson Turns Browns into Super Bowl Contenders
After it became clear that Watson was Cleveland-bound, the odds for the Browns winning the Super Bowl dramatically decreased – from 40-1 to 20-1. The same happened with their odds for winning the AFC, which went from 18-1 to 10-1.
Deshaun Watson has been selected for the NFL Pro Bowl for three consecutive seasons before 2021. Interestingly, when the Texans selected him as a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, they traded with the Cleveland Browns to get the No.12 pick.
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