One of the ongoing questions heading into the “slow period” of the NFL – between OTAs and the start of training camps in late July – is the ongoing saga of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has made headlines off the field for the last 14 months.
Watson sat out the entire 2021 season, which was supposed to be the first year of four-year, $160 million extension he signed with the Houston Texans. An avalanche of civil lawsuits brought against him – most by massage therapists – claiming sexual assault or misconduct. A 23rd woman joined the lawsuit against Watson at the end of May, and No. 24 is reportedly expected to file come Monday.
However, when two grand juries failed to bring back a criminal indictment, the Texans saw an opportunity to trade their besieged signal-caller, and the Browns jumped at the opportunity to acquire a franchise quarterback better than Baker Mayfield.
Houston landed three first-round picks, a third-rounder in 2023, and a fourth-rounder in 2024 in exchange for Watson. If that investment by the Browns wasn’t enough, the team immediately announced that it tore up Watson’s contract with the Texans and replaced it with a five-year, $230 million deal with every dollar guaranteed.