The Cleveland Browns should soon know the availability of their new quarterback for 2022. Right now it doesn’t sound promising.
The Cleveland Browns went all in this offseason making a trade for star quarterback, Deshaun Watson. The organization gave up six picks for the former Houston Texan, and they knew he came with some baggage, but maybe just not how much.
At the time 22 civil cases were pending against Watson, and that number got as high as 24. With 20 cases already settled, Watson is set to meet with the NFL and NFLPA Disciplinary Officer, Sue Robinson, today.
Although it feels more and more like an indefinite suspension is coming, it’s still unclear on when we will know the outcome, and how long the suspension will be.
Mary Kay Cabot reported late Monday night that the recommendation at the moment will be an indefinite suspension without pay for 2022, with the ability to apply for reinstatement before the 2023 season.
What does this mean for the Cleveland Browns?
If a year-long suspension is the case, the Browns will get Watson under contract for another season. They also won’t be liable for his 2022 salary. It also means they won’t have their starting quarterback for the 2022 season with a roster that was built for a Super Bowl run.
Andrew Berry exhausted a ton of resources for Watson, so losing him for a full year would be a huge blow. Would he consider giving up more to upgrade for only one season? I’m not sold on this, but a guy like Sam Darnold who could be involved in a Baker Mayfield trade is likely your best scenario.
Maybe Berry knew there was a really good chance of a full-season suspension, but I find it hard to believe they would have given up six draft picks for a guy who couldn’t play in 2022.
What does this mean for Deshaun Watson?
First and foremost, Watson has lost a previously good reputation around the league. I will withhold judgment because I don’t have access to the facts, but it’s not a great look. It also means that Watson will have been out of football for two full seasons before he is able to return in 2023.
It will be interesting to see how involved Watson can be at the facility to stay in shape if the indefinite suspension does happen.