Obviously, I don’t work in an NFL front office but I can’t help but question those who do for the Cleveland Browns.
Honestly, I have no opinion as to whether Deshaun Watson is guilty or innocent and I will leave that up to the judge and jury to review all the evidence and come to a conclusion. What I know and have known for some time is that there are numerous sexual assault allegations against Watson and for some reason, despite knowing that very fact, the Browns not only took a picture by signing Watson, but made him one of the highest paid in the league. players with a whopping five-year, $230 million contract.
Let’s look at it strictly from a football perspective. Watson hasn’t played football for at least an entire season. So even if he is able to play this season, it will take time for him to shake off the rust, learn a new offense and fit in with his teammates. It’s the best-case scenario Watson and the Browns are hoping for, but it’s not likely.
Of course, there are the other numbers to consider. Watson met at least 66 women for massages in 17 months. Granted, it’s not illegal and it may not even be morally wrong, but it does raise some red flags and the obvious question is “Why?”
If he filled a list of 53 men (or women), he would have to make 13 cuts.
Then we know there are 24 women who have sued the quarterback.
Again, it’s up to the judge and jury to decide whether or not these charges are true, but let’s not assume the NFL won’t suspend Watson. In fact, we’re safer to assume it will be suspended. It’s just a matter of how long and when the suspension begins.
After initially botching Ray Rice’s situation, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell harshly punished the players, especially when it came to the abuse of women.
Think back to 2017 when Goodell pitched the book to Ezekiel Elliott, determining the Cowboys running back was guilty of assaulting a woman despite never being arrested or legally charged with a crime. Elliott was suspended by the league for six games.
Either the Browns’ front office considers this history old, or they completely forgot about it when they offered Watson his massive contract.
Let’s also not forget that Watson’s absence from the pitch last year was his choice. The Texans also completely mishandled this situation by simply burying him on the depth board instead of letting him hold, and that came after Watson signed a four-year, $160 million extension with the Texans in 2020. So knowing that must also raise more questions, like what makes the Browns think Watson won’t throw in the towel after just one season of his new contract?
It’s not even just about how much money the Browns owe Watson, but also the fact that they gave up first- and fourth-round picks this year, as well as first-round picks in 2023. and 2024.
If suspended for this season, Watson will have even more rust to shake off next year. We can’t expect him to be what he was with the Texans.
On top of all that, they shot themselves in the foot when it came to Baker Mayfield. This relationship cannot be repaired. The Browns reportedly said they were willing to pay the Carolina Panthers half Mayfield’s salary to get him out of Cleveland. We’ve seen it before, but you know you’ve screwed up a lot when you pay someone to play for another team, but we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the Cleveland Browns team that we have all come to know over the years.