DeShaun Watson missed the complete 2021 season amid 22 civil lawsuits of sexual misconduct. His standing for the 2022 season can be up within the air as these fits are nonetheless pending. Past authorized punishments, the NFL will possible droop Watson for a major size of time.
However none of these purple flags mattered to the Cleveland Browns, who simply handed Watson extra assured cash than some other NFL participant has ever obtained.
The Browns traded three first-round picks, one third-round decide, and a fifth-rounder to the Houston Texans for his or her new quarterback. They then instantly supplied Watson a $230 million extension, with all of it assured. As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported, the deal surpasses — by $80 million — the earlier highest amount of cash assured at signing.
The truth is, the contract is negotiated in a means that protects Watson within the possible situation of a suspension from the NFL. His 2022 earnings will embrace a $45 million signing bonus, however his base wage will probably be simply $1 million. Which means he’ll lose $55,555 per sport missed — a fairly modest quantity for any NFL quarterback. If Watson finally ends up being suspended for the complete season, he’ll lose the complete $1 million. Nonetheless, that is solely about 2.2% of his whole 2022 earnings.
The Browns will now need to do one thing with Baker Mayfield, who’s been their quarterback the previous 4 years. However the two sides had a falling out after the Browns made public their curiosity in Watson. Mayfield, a former number-one decide, led the Browns to the playoffs in 2020. It was the crew’s first journey to the postseason since 2002.
Nevertheless, the Browns struggled to an 8-9 document this previous season. Mayfield performed by accidents and wasn’t as efficient as he was in 2020. He additionally could not get together with the crew’s high receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr., and the latter was launched. Beckham signed with the Los Angeles Rams shortly after. It most likely did not assist Mayfield’s trigger that Beckham performed nicely in Los Angeles and finally gained a Tremendous Bowl ring.
We nonetheless do not know what’s going to come from Watson’s authorized proceedings. However this deal makes one factor clear: The Browns are all in on their new quarterback. And the matchup between Cleveland and Houston this season ought to find yourself being fairly attention-grabbing.