Browns can make playoffs regardless of Deshaun Watson suspension

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson hands the ball off to Nick Chubb during OTA workouts on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 in Berea.Browns13
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson hands the ball off to Nick Chubb during OTA workouts on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 in Berea.Browns13 /
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The Cleveland Browns made the blockbuster move to acquire Deshaun Watson and could still make the playoffs regardless of his suspension length.

The Cleveland Browns are absolutely Super Bowl contenders if Deshaun Watson is under center. So what about when he isn’t under center, as he might not be should he be suspended for any length of time?

Before we get to that question, let’s address some quarterback chatter that has ramped up over the past couple of days on the bird app. First and foremost, Baker Mayfield is not walking through the door to put on his No. 6 jersey and be under center for Cleveland. Primarily, because the Browns have closed the door and changed the locks and are just playing the waiting game as to when Mayfield will no longer be a member of the team.

Cleveland has the QBs they want

Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, along with General Manager Andrew Berry, left, and head coach Kevin Stefanski, right, field questions from reporters during Watson’s introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea. /

Secondly, I have seen Jimmy Garoppolo’s name being thrown around as it would be a “backup plan” should Watson be suspended for the entire season. Here is exactly why the Browns won’t pursue a w for Jimmy G; Andrew Berry is not about to give up draft capital and take on a $25 million salary.

Fans love saying things about how smart Berry is – he is extremely smart – and that he wouldn’t have made the trade for Watson without a backup plan in the case that Watson does miss the entire season.

Talking about playing “4D chess” which is a silly term used to talk about the moves Berry has made in his time as general manager. So with all of that being said, do you really think that he didn’t think of this situation occurring at the time of the trade? Come on, now.

If Watson is in fact suspended for any amount of times, whether it be six, eight, 10 games, or the entire season, Jacoby Brissett will be the guy guiding the ship in his absence.

Is Brissett an elite quarterback? Absolutely not. Is he a serviceable NFL quarterback who can be a game manager and possibly more? Without question.

Let’s just hypothetically say Watson will be suspended anywhere from 6-10 games. Should that be the case, Brissett will need to manage the team to a .500 record or better. No game in the NFL is easy, but the Browns have a favorable first month of the season in terms of their opponents. The schedule then gets more grueling each passing week, but Brissett will only need to be good enough to win the game.

Brissett does not have to put up elite quarterback numbers in order for this team to succeed. He simply needs to play better than an injured Mayfield from a season ago, which doesn’t seem like it would be too tall of a task. That team won eight games despite horrendous quarterback play. Brissett can be better than that.

“But he’s only 14-23 as a starter!”

That sounds good in theory as a knock on Brissett, only if QB wins were an actual stat. Sure, the quarterback gets a win or loss next to his name, but he is only one member of a 53-man roster and can only do so much. People will turn to his days with the Colts and point out how bad the team was. It wasn’t good, but that wasn’t due to Brissett. He didn’t sign or not sign players to be competitive.

This is the best roster that Brissett has ever played on, which should make it a bit easier for him to operate and be a game manager until Watson is able to play. Anything above that is a bonus.