The Browns are no longer in the running to land Deshaun Watson. The team has been informed Watson will not waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a move there, leaving Baker Mayfield as the team’s projected starting quarterback (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL Network).
[RELATED: Saints, Watson Meet Again]
Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon Journal notes that the team’s owners, Jimmy and Dee Haslam, “authorized a massive trade offer” for Watson. While that won’t take place now, since he isn’t interested in coming to Cleveland, it further demonstrates the team’s willingness to pursue an upgrade over Mayfield.
It came out earlier this week that the former No. 1 overall pick wouldn’t be part of the trade package the Texans would be receiving for Watson, if the Browns had won the bidding war to acquire him. Mayfield made it clear his preference would not be to end up Houston, but this whole process has led many to expect he will be playing somewhere other than Cleveland next season.
Mayfield, who will be 27 by the start of next year, has publicly acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding his future with the Browns. However, as Garafolo notes, the team informed him they would only search for “top-tier” signal callers to take his place. With Watson no longer available, keeping the former Heisman winner at a cost of $18.8MM is “still very much an option“.
As for Watson, the list of potential landing spots has been narrowed to three: New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina. It was reported earlier today that the Saints have met with the three-time Pro Bowler for a second time, and have made the necessary salary cap moves to absorb his contract. At a minimum, this news makes it all-but certain Watson will be headed to the NFC South.
45 comments on “Browns Out Of Contention For Deshaun Watson”
Seems like Mayfield is still gonna be the guy this year in Cleveland then, right? Who else is available and definitely an upgrade? Carr would make sense, but Vegas seems to think they can contend this year. Other than that, I’d rather bet that Baker can be healthier and better this year than roll the dice on someone like Jameis.
Lol….they just,pissed him off by basically saying “we don’t want you”. He has to be traded at this point.
He does not have to be traded. Rodgers didn’t have to be traded and he had much more standing to take offense. Besides, other than maybe Indy, there’s no team with room for a starting QB who would offer nearly as good a situation to succeed as Cleveland does.
ok…well see. I’m betting he demands a trade or the brownies sign him long term to prove their faith in him. The one year prove it year is gone. That locker room would be a disaster after this stunt they just pulled. (the brownies essentially called him a child and the molester an adult)
Demanding a trade doesn’t work if you’re not in demand. What team would want him and start him that isn’t a total wreck? And what else could Cleveland do that would motivate them to trade him?
Seattle and Indy for starters….neither is a total wreck if you add a QB. No they’re not elite but they’re competing for a playoff spot.
Indy is the only one I buy. Seattle isn’t competing if they downgrade from Wilson to Mayfield while losing all the other pieces they’ve lost in that division. And again, what’s Cleveland’s backup plan if they trade away Baker at this point? They might just be each other’s best option. Teams and QBs have worked through worse.
Thank god. Didn’t want that trade to happen.
Better chance at a Super Bowl in the NFC. Probably prefers the south anyway because it’s closer to home.
This thing is getting too funny.
If the Falcons are in on Watson does that make Ryan available?
If the Falcons acquire Watson they’d trade Ryan. Browns could bring him in. So could Colts.
Good, the Browns were saved from their own stupidity. That said I can’t imagine the locker room situation they created for themselves.
The Browns can’t be saved from their own stupidity without a change in ownership. They were saved from wasting all of their draft picks, but they still alienated their franchise QB.
I’m not saying Baker is elite, but he is a quality QB. There’s no clear path at present for an upgrade in Cleveland.
B I N G O !!!!!!!!!!!!
Too bad an old-fashioned 3 way baseball trade couldn’t be made between Cleveland-Houston-1 of the NFC South teams…
I really don’t see any of the Falcons, Saints, or Panthers as meeting the Texans trade demands, but somebody will overpay then gripe because Watson has to shake a years worth of rust off…
Plus serve his inevitable suspension anyway.
I’m glad the Browns ended up not getting him, but this situation is just as embarrassing as it is a relief. I’ve been okay with the idea of upgrading over Baker or at least bringing in someone to compete, but now it’s just an awkward situation.
Browns pivot to Jimmy G. The Mayfield bridge is burnt
I think that’s the eventuality. They better have a capable back-up QB if that’s the plan, though.
“Baker…my main man! How you doing?”
This is so Browns.
Why in the world would he approve a trade to Atlanta other than the fact that he is from Georgia? That team is a disaster right now with zero weapons other than Kyle Pitts. It seems to me that New Orleans is the clear front runner. That sucks because I hate the Saints.
Because he’s familiar with all of the massage parlors in the ATL.
I hope he doesn’t end up with the Saints. He’s going to spend at least half the season trying to shake the rust off. Not a fan, even though it’s a veteran team and staff. I would much rather ride with Winston, and use some of the new-found money (Saints voodoo economics) to get another OL and WR for Winston. Beasley was released today, or Landry could work in the slot, and even Robinson could give them a threat on the outside to pair with Thomas.
What kind of world do we live in where this scumbag and the train wreck of a team that have been embroiled in a ridiculous standoff for over a year, are now holding all the cards and are going to make out perfectly? SMH
I’d trade Baker now, sign Mariotti and move up to draft Malik Willis. You could still draft a WR in round 2. You shouldn’t have to worry about the salary cap for a few more years with a rookie quarterback. Browns would have made the playoffs with a little bit better quarterback play, albeit Mayfield was hurt. I think Marriotti offers that. I’m not paying Jimmy G that much money
I do really like Willis and would strongly consider taking him if they can, but dumping Baker just to hand the starting job to Mariota seems counterproductive.
They’re too deep in win now mode to even rely on Baker without hedging their bets, and Mariota is even more of a question mark. I wouldn’t hate taking a chance on him, but I’d rather have him as competition or a potential starter than the undisputed starter while Willis would sit and learn.
The problem with keeping Mayfield is the first bad game he had, he’s going to get blasted. A lot of Browns/Buckeye fans already don’t like him. There’s no way he can remain on the team with someone like Willis waiting in the wings unless he plays lights out from the start.
That’s fair. Of all the veterans still out there I’d prefer Jimmy G to Mariota, but I’m not sure that Jimmy would want to go to another team that would only plan on using him as a bridge to another first rounder.
I picture Baker, Stefanski and Hassan in a lot of group therapy sessions. I suppose that it’s possible that the Browns could be handling this in a worse way, I guess, but I don’t see how.
This is way worse than Wilson in Seattle. Mayfield has already said goodbye publicly opining failure. Beyond awkward, was this guy drinking and posting or what?
I have zero issue with what Baker did. Cleveland is trying to do this odd thing where it’s like, “Baker is our guy… unless we find someone better.” Behind closed doors, that’s fine. To do it so publicly? Nah, that’s a clown move. It’s a joke of a franchise. You can’t say we want an adult at QB, but go chase a piece of trash like Watson.
Baker should demand out. If they don’t comply, he should develop a “back injury.”
I agree. I think the Browns’ “vision” is cross-eyed going for somebody like Watson in that manner. I think Baker still has a chance to be a pro in this league. Maybe not a 1st choice caliber but when healthy he can still play.
Still, it’s an odd way to approach a divorce with a team. Heh, at least he didn’t rip his shirt off and go streaking through the streets of Cleveland as an “American Hero”.
Need to immediately pivot and trade as many quality players as possible for 2023 draft capital. Load up for 2023 draft. Tank in 2022 for QB in 23 and have window to be really good in 24-27 during franchise QB rookie contract deal..
You do realize the team is practically full of quality players? They only need better quarterback play and better health.
Just to belabor the point…
The Browns “moving on” from Mayfield without actually having a plan to UPGRADE Mayfield is why they are a dumpster fire franchise.
And I don’t say that because I think Mayfield is especially good.
But, to “move on” from the closest thing you currently have to a franchise QB with no plan to replace him in order to fool yourself for two days that you might get a guy everyone knew you weren’t getting…just comical.
Were Jimmy Haslem and Joe Biden separated at birth?
Without a legit franchise QB they aren’t going to be hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Best way to acquire a long term franchise QB is via draft. To get a franchise QB in draft you need a lot of draft capital and early first round capital. Tank now for the long term benefit of the franchise. The QB is also the leader of the team, currently the Browns are a rudderless ship. Tank in 22!!!
Browns culture is too bad for even Watson to deal with. Demand a trade Baker. It’s worked for everyone else..
Watson will go only where he wants to. No question about it…
Baker….tell Jimmy and Dee that you want to play for owners and an organization that are “grownups” and demand a trade!
I would rather go to Cleveland and what they have then Carolina, Atlanta or New Orleans. Those teams have Zero chance of winning anything in the next 5 years. Cleveland is loaded except the Head case at QB
This didnt age well.