The Cleveland Browns have given up a lot of assets to acquire franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, but this could go south and blow up in their faces.
The Cleveland Browns shocked the NFL world last Friday when it was announced they were sending three first-round picks, and other picks, for quarterback Deshaun Watson. It was clear they believed they needed an upgrade at the position if they were to compete for a championship.
There is little debate about how good the player Deshaun Watson is, however it isn’t simply about his talent.
Everyone knows about the pending civil cases of sexual misconduct that are currently pending against Watson. However, there are additional reasons that this trade may not work out and result in setting the Browns back.
Reason 1: Possible Future Charges
The first and most obvious concern is future criminal charges, the grand jury did not indict Watson, that doesn’t mean that in the future if new evidence comes to light that they can’t indict him then.
If that happens the Browns will be sitting without a first-round pick for three consecutive seasons to find a new quarterback.
The NFL will not give back the Browns’ picks if this were to happen, the talent of Watson is worth what the Browns gave up but only if he plays. The Browns are looking at a legitimate top 10 quarterback in this league if he is on the field.
Reason 2: Scrutiny
Watson is in a position that he has not been in so far in his career dating back to college and high school, the bad guy role. There’s no evidence to show that he will be able to handle this type or level of scrutiny and still play at a high level.
There also isn’t any evidence to suggest he can’t handle it, but this is something that isn’t universally talked about as yet another obstacle in the Browns quarterback’s way. This scrutiny reflects on the entire Browns organization as a whole, can they handle things if they don’t win right away with Watson?
Reason 3: Time Away and more time missed possible
This one hits on a couple of different ways, Watson hasn’t played in over a year, and during that time he had to focus a lot of time on non-football-related things. For each example Ja’Marr Chase who missed a season after opting out and not missing a beat there is an Andrew Billings who opted out and wasn’t the same the next year.
During his season away Watson wasn’t able to focus completely on football with his civil cases and the possibility of inditement on criminal charges. The civil cases are ongoing, so during the rest of the offseason as he prepares for a return he will have to focus a lot of time and energy on the pending cases.
There is also the possibility that if he continues to fight the civil cases he could miss even more time on top of a potential suspension.
Things could go really wrong for the Browns, but this trade could work out on the field. There’s a lot of stuff to consider when looking at this trade and it just isn’t black and white. It may take some time for a resolution to the off-field issues that carry over onto the field.
This move isn’t a simple one that can truly be kept to just football. A suspension is likely coming, how will the Browns fair during that time?
Only time will tell but this move is easily the riskiest and most controversial move the franchise has ever made.