Browns Up Next In Deshaun Watson Sweepstakes

There's a new contender in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes -- the Cleveland Browns. After meeting with Carolina and New Orleans on Monday, Watson is scheduled to speak with representatives from the Browns in Houston on Tuesday.

Nearly every team in the NFL seeking a quarterback upgrade has checked in on Watson, but the 26-year-old phenom has a no-trade clause in his contract, which means he has as much say as anyone as to where he'll take his next snap. If Watson isn't willing to waive the no-trade clause for a particular team, chances are, he's not going to meet with them at all. So the fact that he's meeting with Cleveland staff indicates he has some interest in the Browns as well.

Watson would be a massive upgrade on Browns incumbent QB Baker Mayfield, who has been inconsistent in his four pro seasons in Cleveland. Mayfield, who's accounted for 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions, is a solid but unspectacular option.

Watson, meanwhile, started nearly every Texans game for four seasons but was inactive for all of 2021. Despite his leave of absence from the game, he is still the most accurate passer in NFL history (minimum 1500 attempts). He has thrown for 104 touchdowns, 36 interceptions and rushed for another 17 scores, and he's done so with a cast of no-name teammates.

Now, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, GM Andrew Berry and owner Jimmy Haslam are expected to meet with Watson in hopes of swaying him to the Browns.

Should Cleveland or any other team land Watson, they'll do so knowing that he could face civil lawsuits related to allegations of sexual misconduct from 22 women. On Friday, a jury determined he would not face criminal charges for these complaints.

Cleveland previously had a chance to land Watson in the 2017 draft but passed and selected Myles Garrett with the first overall pick instead. Maybe the second time's the charm?


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