The word culture change gets thrown around a lot, but I don’t think anyone can argue the Cleveland Browns culture has changed since landing Watson.
Off-the-field concerns aside, one could argue that Deshaun Watson has already changed the culture of the Cleveland Browns more than anyone in the last two decades. The trade isn’t official, and we haven’t even heard Watson speak yet, but somehow things feel different already.
If you remember, I made the argument a few weeks ago that no player should be off the table to land Watson via trade. Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and Nick Chubb are all fantastic players, but in the NFL it all starts at the quarterback.
You can have a top-five roster in the league, but without a quarterback, it’s tough to win. The 2021 Cleveland Browns are a prime example.
How has Deshaun Watson changed Cleveland Browns culture?
How has he exactly changed the culture you ask?
Well, Cleveland has now become a destination. Just five seasons ago this was an organization that was overpaying veteran talent to come and is now receiving a ton of interest from veterans who will take less to play with Watson and have a chance at a Super Bowl.
The three latest names of interested parties are Akiem Hicks, Will Fuller, and even Jarvis Landry. Now, Landry was never going to survive in Cleveland on his old deal, but with the change at quarterback, it appears he may be willing to play ball at a lesser number.
If the Browns can manage to bring those three guys in on team-friendly deals (all likely one year), and Jadeveon Clowney accepts his latest offer, I’m not sure I can think of one weakness on this team at the moment.
My best guess is the second-round pick could even be a safety. With Ronnie Harrison an unlikely returner, that is the one position they could use some depth at.
I know not everyone loves Watson off the field, which I’m not here to argue about, but there is no doubt that he has completely changed the culture of this organization from a pretender to a contender.