4 Cleveland Browns who will make or break 2023 season

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
4 of 4

1. Deshaun Watson, QB

No player will mean more to the Cleveland Browns success — or lack thereof — in 2023 than Deshaun Watson. That's not exactly a news flash given the price they paid to land him a year ago.

Even with his off-field concerns and lingering NFL suspension, the Browns gave up a haul, which included three first-round picks, in order to acquire him from the Houston Texans. They then signed Watson to a mammoth extension — a fully guaranteed $230 million over five years.

Clearly, the Browns believed Watson was the missing piece for this franchise. And it's also easy to see why they felt this way.

Watson was one of the hottest young quarterbacks in the NFL in 2020 as he put up 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns that year. This wasn't an anomaly either as he completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards with a 104-to-36 touchdown-to-interception ratio in four seasons with Houston.

Cleveland is banking on his return to form this season and while they know he was rusty in his six-game appearance last year, there are still those who want to see him look like his old self before they're willing to believe. And while we don't know for sure Watson will be a hit, we know the team needs him to play at a high level if they want to have any shot at success.

Next. 3 under the radar potential roster cuts the Browns should target. 3 under the radar potential roster cuts the Browns should target. dark

Even with the signing of Dalvin Tomlinson and Juan Thornhill as well as the trades for Za'Darius Smith and Elijah Moore, Cleveland's chances in 2023 all sit on the shoulders of No. 4.