3 things the Cleveland Browns can accept after Week 1
No. 2: The Deshaun Watson contract isn’t that bad
You won’t hear an argument from me that the Cleveland Browns bought Watson. The five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract is what broke the tie over the Atlanta Falcons who seemed to be in the driver’s seat the entire time. The Browns have a very good roster (better than the Falcons), but the money is why he is here.
You’ve already seen the backlash in the league start with Lamar Jackson holding out saying he wants a deal like Watson. Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray have inked deals with a similar type of money, but are not fully guaranteed.
While it’s a tough strategy to be the leader when it comes to setting the market for a position, it was eventually going to happen. I know there is a lot of noise that what the Browns did was “irresponsible”, but I would argue continuing to bring in pieces without a franchise quarterback was more irresponsible than the contract they gave Watson.
Andrew Berry has shown time and time again that he is a master at handling the cap. Even with the current Watson hit in 2023, the Browns have plenty of cap space to work with, and that is before multiple restructures that will occur to help create even more room.
I’m not saying Mayfield isn’t a solid starting NFL quarterback, but Sunday is a prime example of what you’ll get with him. 50 percent of snaps that have your head shaking, and 50 percent of snaps where he looks great. The consistency wasn’t there to take this team to a Super Bowl.