Though there were four finalists for QB Deshaun Watson before the Browns and Texans completed the blockbuster trade that sent Watson to Cleveland, as many as 10 teams were reportedly interested in Watson’s services. In remarks he made following the trade, Houston GM Nick Caserio would not say exactly how many teams made inquiries, but he did note that the interest went beyond the Browns, Saints, Panthers, and Falcons.
“I would say there was a fair amount of teams, but what we tried to do was bring the teams that had a legitimate interest, and that was based off the compensation that was presented,” Caserio said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “I don’t want to get into the exact number, but there was a few more, however many teams than what everybody was reporting towards the end.”
Caserio’s comments confirm what had been reported all along: only clubs that were willing to meet the Texans’ steep asking price (three first-rounders and more) were granted permission to have an in-person meeting with Watson. While that seems like the only logical move in hindsight, it was quite a masterstroke by Caserio. Had he allowed Watson to meet with all interested clubs, regardless of proposed compensation, Watson may have decided to waive his no-trade clause for only one team, thereby undermining Caserio’s leverage. But as Florio observes, by having a “pre-qualifying” process, Caserio guaranteed that he would get what he wanted before Watson truly got a say in his next destination.
Per Florio, the Colts put feelers out to the Texans, but Caserio was not willing to deal Watson within his division. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports that the Eagles remained interested throughout the process, but Watson was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause for Philadelphia, largely because he is friends with Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and did not want to take away Hurts’ starting job. Wilson adds that the 49ers also placed a call to the Texans last year.
Caserio suggested that reports on the Texans’ being interested in players as well as picks in a Watson swap were at least somewhat overstated, saying, “I would say other than three first-round picks, I would say probably the rest of it was a little bit of speculation.” Still, Wilson reports that if Houston swung a deal with the Falcons, Atlanta CB AJ Terrell would have been intriguing to Caserio, and if the Saints had been able to acquire Watson, New Orleans OLs Erik McCoy and/or Cesar Ruiz might have been a part of the package heading back to the Texans.
In the end, the Browns, who were initially believed to be out of the running for Watson, were able to acquire the three-time Pro Bowler because they were willing to give him a contract — five years for a fully-guaranteed $230MM, which Wilson reports includes a $45MM signing bonus — that other teams were not comfortable matching. We heard at the time the Cleveland-Houston deal was consummated that the financial side of the equation became untenable for the Falcons and Panthers, and Wilson confirmed in a separate piece that Carolina was resistant to a fully-guaranteed pact.
Cleveland may have felt compelled to make such a bold strike because of an unsalvageable situation with Baker Mayfield. Mayfield requested a trade while the Browns’ courtship of Watson was ongoing, and when it appeared that Watson would not waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a move to northeast Ohio, the Browns indicated they would not accommodate the request. However, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes, Mayfield had no intentions of playing for the Browns in 2022 even if the club had not acquired Watson, and that reality could have forced Cleveland’s hand.
According to Cabot, the Browns had made it clear to Mayfield’s camp that they would pursue a top-flight QB this offseason, but that they were content to run it back with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft if such a pursuit were unsuccessful. Because it had been upfront with him about its intentions, the organization believed it could eventually smooth things over with Mayfield. As we heard last week, though, Mayfield declined owner Jimmy Haslam‘s offer to fly out to Mayfield’s home to discuss the situation, which was a clear indication that there was trouble in paradise.
Cabot further reports that the Watson situation and the team’s comments that it was looking for an “adult” at the quarterback position — thus implying that Mayfield is not, in fact, an adult — merely represented the final straw. Mayfield was said to have issues with HC Kevin Stefanski‘s play-calling and scheme, and as Stefanski will retain play-calling duties in 2022, Mayfield was prepared to skip the Browns’ offseason program and minicamp in an effort to force a trade to a team that has an offense more conducive to his skill-set. As Mayfield is eligible for free agency in 2023, the upcoming season is obviously critical for him, both from a financial and on-field perspective.
We recently learned that Mayfield would prefer to be traded to the Colts. Cabot suggests that, if Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard is interested, he may require the Browns to pay at least some of Mayfield’s $18.9MM salary, and since Cleveland has no choice but to deal Mayfield at this point, the team’s leverage in that regard and in terms of trade compensation is fairly limited.
Both Cabot and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times confirm that the Seahawks may be interested in Mayfield but are genuinely excited by Drew Lock, who recently came to Seattle in the trade that sent Russell Wilson to the Broncos. As for the Texans, Caserio was non-committal when asked if Davis Mills, who started 11 games as a rookie in 2021 and who showed marked improvement down the stretch, would remain Houston’s QB1. Nonetheless, Mills is expected to open the 2022 campaign as the starting signal-caller, despite Caserio’s comments that the team is “starting from scratch” at the most important position in sports.
77 comments on “More Details On Deshaun Watson Sweepstakes; Latest On Baker Mayfield”
On a side note, the Browns just re-signed Jarvis Landry to a 2-year, $15 million deal after he decided to stay following the Watson trade.
Got a link to the Landry signing?
Per Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus: “Breaking: The #Browns continue to have a great off-season as they sign back WR Jarvis Landry for 2 years 15 million dollars. After the signing of Deshaun Watson recently released WR Jarvis Landry and the Browns had mutual interest in having a reunion and they have came to a deal.”
-Sorry about the double post.
No, they cleared 15mill restructuring Cooper’s contract in hopes of re-signing Landry and Clowney. This is how football rumors get started
Per Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus:
“Breaking: The #Browns continue to have a great off-season as they sign back WR Jarvis Landry for 2 years 15 million dollars. After the signing of Deshaun Watson recently released WR Jarvis Landry and the Browns had mutual interest in having a reunion and they have came to a deal.”
Hence the name of the site you’re posting on, Bindy?
He didn’t want to take away jalen hurts starting job because they’re friends yet he had no problem trying to take Matt Ryan’s job in atl and succeeded in taking bakers job in Cleveland. What a freaking tool. There is your adult browns fans! Enjoy
We plan too!
I bet he doesn’t play 1/2 the season! Enjoy regressing back into mediocrity.
Wait till that 10 game suspension kicks in.
Is he friends with Baker or Ryan? You’re completely glossing over the “why” portion of the statement…
He’s friends with jalen hurts it was mentioned in the article. The way this moron went about asking the falcons if they might be interested in him knowing full well Matt Ryan was their QB was selfish and disrespectful.
Out of the whole list of things you could criticize him for this has to be the lamest complaint possible. Did you not read where it said he was friends with Hurts? You know what, you’re right! He is a jerk for taking another person’s job! He should just retire so there is an extra starting job open too!
So the Browns think a guy with 22 sexual assault allegations is the more “adult” of the 2?
Remember that whole Ray Lewis and murder thing? Not nearly the outrage this has had. Everybody is passed because it is Cleveland. If it had been any other team, especially yours, you wouldn’t be on here piling on
lmao you think the Ray Lewis thing didn’t have a ton of outrage at the time? Were you alive? There was a ton of outrage and there still is. If that had happened today, with all of the social media we have, it would have been even bigger.
Ray didn’t kill two people, his homies did, just weaseled his way out of the criminal charges and ultimately paid the families. Watson is a sexual predator, he may have skated on the criminal charges but he’ll also be writing checks.
Saying you’re looking for an “adult” at QB and mortgaging the franchise for a guy who has been anything but an adult, is a joke.
Trust me, we are good with this. We got our guy. That equals wins. Wins equal playoffs. Playoffs equal Super Bowl, which would be the first for this club. So save the moral high ground bullshit about a case no one on here is a part of and no one here can legitimately say he did something wrong.
Now, if he did break the law, he will pay, and we will move on, and win-a whole lot more than we did with Baker
Look at those mental gymnastics.
You’re good with Watson maybe missing half the season with Brisset as the back up? You’re good with 1 guy take up close to 1/4 of the cap space for the next 4 years? Not this year because they have it structured right in case he gets suspended. You’re good on some players may not be back next year like Ward,Njoku or Hunt?
Ward-good player, gets hurt alot
Njoku-average player with Baker, may be better with DW
Hunt-nice luxury to have but I figured he would have been traded to Houston or in a deal to recoup draft picks. I say this because tge O last year had awful RB play calling which included Chubb on the sidelines at questionable times. Makes me think they were not keen on running the ball or passing to RBs. With that said, how much value does Hunt have?
Who won you more games than any of the past 26 QBs you had, to include a playoff game. You’ll soon find out 6 wasn’t the problem.
The bar wasn’t set very high for QB success in Cleveland. Baker put Bernie numbers at times, but alot it was scheme. They have tge best RB room in the NFL but decided to be pass first. BM had every opportunity and at times he performed. I gave you that. However, I don’t hear about clubs offering a 1 or a 2 for him right now. Houston didn’t even want him. So is Davis Mills better than BM?
All teams in the NFL pass more than they run now. That is why RB’s are a dime a dozen now and WR make more than them on the average. They probably won’t get a 1st for Baker. But they need to get him traded so they can get cap space to improve the team. This team is far from a playoff contender as of right now. If Watson gets suspended then they will not even make the playoffs.
Browns probably attempted less passes than just about every team in the league. They were far from pass first
So you’re not even the slightest bit concerned that he originally turned down Cleveland. Only to then decide to go to Cleveland because Cleveland gave him a guaranteed contract. When dealing with a man who has 22 women accusing him of sexual misconduct. In some instances criminal (Yes I know he’s not being criminally charged but that doesn’t change the fact that he was accused criminally). It would concern me greatly that he decided to go to my team because they gave him a guaranteed contract. Literally the first thing that pops to my mind when I hear that course of events is what else is coming. What else has he done? He’s got his money. Because he knows something else is fixing to drop
I also remind you that just prior to the news breaking of the 22 women accusing him of these transgressions he asked for a trade from Houston. This guy is immature. He is a child. He thinks he can run from his problems. Hence the trade request. He thinks he can buy his way out of his problems. Hence the guaranteed contract.
I feel bad for Cleveland. I think they just made the worst quarterback acquisition in their history of their franchise.
You forgot to mention Watson pouting about not being able to choose O’Brien’s replacement as head coach.
It’s literally not a sweepstakes when the guy that ‘over ten teams want’ is an actual raper
I’m not defending what he did. That being said, there’s a difference between what he did and rape. It’s like armed robbery vs. murder. Both are bad, but one is worse than the other. Unless I’m missing something, he was never accused of rape. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
But the Browns want an adult in the room. If i hear that Andrew Berry is a genius one more time because he got fleeced by Houston and Watson.The guy offered a guy with 11-22 civil cases going against him a 5 year fully guaranteed contract. That is not smart it’s stupid and everyone thought Baker and OBJ’s circus was bad. Many women’s groups are going to Cleveland to protest Watson.
Andrew Berry is a Genius
You mean a desperate man trying to save his job!
No. Legit. Mensa Society. Look it up.
No he’s not. He is a smart young man but still desperate to make such a foolish trade.
Lol! You know what’s the most tragic thing in all this? Yall are batching about Millionaires getting signed by Billionaires and their exploits. All the while, your government is robbing you of your wealth and rights. But, if you must be so consumed with this bullshit, by all means. Deshaun doesn’t make my life better or worse, nor does Jimmy Haslam. It’s all JUST entertainment.
Why are you on the forum then? It’s entertainment as you stated. I agree with the rest of your above post.
It’s “just entertainment” but you’re such a slave to laundry that you’re going to cheer when some trash human scores a touchdown? You think it’s somehow a badge of honor to stick with a team/sport, even if they’re morally bankrupt? That’s super weak.
Welcome to American Professional Sports Chris. Shall I name all pieces of trash that the populace has supported over the years just to see a team win. Your problem isn’t with me, it’s with America and its collective moral bankruptcy.
WoOBle, you spelled “fool” wrong. It’s F-O-O-L. There’s no G, nor E, I, N, U or S.
He did nothing illegal. All he did was cheat on his girl. He paid them girls and they know it. He prolly cashapp all of them. Rape tho? That’s messed up. Ain’t no way. Not when one of the “accusers” referred him to others. He had all the receipts. Texans was petty af. Some of yall just racist and think every blk man turns into a serial rapist around white women. I done been on racist forums. I seen what bigots post.
You’re the racist. You went there first. This has nothing to do with his skin color. Has everything to do with his behavior. His behavior is abhorrent. No receipt is going to change that.
Cleveland will learn.
As a Houston Texans fan I will say this. I am eternally grateful to the Cleveland Browns for taking this disaster off of our hands and rewarding us so handsomely for it. Only the Cleveland browns.
I do feel sorry for their fans. Many of which will be forced to defend Desean Watson and cheer for him because they love the Browns so much. They’re sad story shall continue.
Even paying them to give him a hand Job is illegal.
What he did was certainly illegal. You can just legally proposition women to pay them for sex
He didn’t rape them. He fondled them and requested to be fondled. It is sexual assault not rape. Not excusing any of his despicable acts but he did not rape any of the women. If he had raped anyone, they would not have dismissed those criminal charges.
I mean mike Vick hung electrocuted and burned to death live dogs so I guess fondling and making 2 dozen women fondle you isn’t a big deal when you put it like that
1-He has not been accused of rape.
2-The word you should have used was rapist
I’m not saying he didn’t do anything but the amount of people who are convinced just by accusations scares me. I sincerely hope nobody accuses any of you guys of anything and the court of public opinion doesn’t decide you’re guilty even when the courts don’t.
This wasn’t j walking it was two dozen women claiming he assaulted them with similar stories. I hope no female friends or family members of yours is serial assaulted and is smeared and maligned by a sphere of people surrounding an incredibly rich privileged individual
What’s even scarier is that there are people like you who think 22 women from varying locations who don’t know each other are all somehow lying in the same way about sexual assault and misconduct at the hands of the same person. Instead, people like you will believe the guy, just because he can throw a football.
The nice thing about not being a garbage human is you don’t really have to worry about that happening.
Sorry dude but when 22 different people accuse you of practically the same thing and they have no relation to each other you’re pretty much screwed. No one’s going to believe you, and no one should.
The real question here is why are you defending him? 22 women. 22…. That’s a fairly decent size number for those of us who can count that high
Really hoping defensive players who think he’s a pos target him and really try to injure him like we’ve never seen before. Before any of you clowns come at me that he was found innocent, Kobe was never found guilty either. Money and celebrity status talks
Haslam had to offer to fly to Mayfield’s home? I thought the QB lived at the stadium? At least that’s what they say on TV.
As a lifelong Bengals fan, I am fine with this, as the Browns will be hamstrung for years with no first round draft picks and little cap space. Probably after a couple years of the Browns being the Browns, Watson will get mad again and refuse to play. I honestly feel bad for Browns fans. Haslam has made me happy to have the Brown family as owners.
Yall are one injury away from picking top 13.
You could say that about most teams if their quarterback got injured. At least we have great receivers, a good running back and an improving defense and the OL should be much better this year.
Yeah you are right.
It’s not like we beat you twice last season. And that was with Baker
Who cares? The Bengals went all the way to the Super Bowl. How did the Browns finish, again? And how many Super Bowl appearances do they have?
Yes the Bengals have went to the SuperBowl but like they say unless you are in front the view never changes. The Vikings and Bills have been 4 times you are 1 loss away from tying that record. Good for you
Sounds like we live in a world whereby “adultness” is measured by how many woman find you perverted. I’m not defending Mayfields quarterback skills cuz that is not the issue. I am defending his desire to tell the Browns to go to hell. Doing this proves he is the adult, and wise, cuz making his trade desire known limits the Browns ability to get what they want in a trade. Btw, doesn’t openly saying they want an adult actually prove that the Browns were immature saying that?
Spot on. Baker has his faults and has made his mistakes, but I encourage him sticking it to the Browns however he can here. He played through an injury when maybe he shouldn’t have last season, and gets rewarded by finding out via social media that not only is the team is trying to replace him, but that they’re leaking attacks on his character?
The only sticking he will do to the Browns is sticking it in the chest of the DB’s. We are moving on to Deshaun
Baker will win more games if he’s traded to Indy than Deshaun will in Cleveland, and you can mark that down. The problem was never Baker, it was the ineptitude of the Browns franchise.
Exhibit A: The Watson trade itself.
Exhibit B: The Watson extension.
How is it that you know this?
Honestly man great point, I hadn’t considered this angle.
If I’m SEA I wouldn’t have much interest in Baker. Rather roll the dice with Lock see how he does maybe bring in a vet mentor.
If Lock flops you’re picking atop next years much better QB class. Great time for SEA to do a mini rebuild and reload on talent.
Lock is a bust. Baker is probably too. Seahawks don’t want either of them.
The Browns organization and many of their fans didn’t even have the common decency to acknowledge Art Modell when he passed away so what would they know about acting like adults?
And never will.
They acknowledged his death, at least the guy that was filmed whizzing on his grave. Modell screwed the city out of their franchise so he could line his pockets. He should have been shunned by their fans.
Thank God the Falcons didn’t get Watson us giving up 3 first round picks and maybe AJ would have set our rebuild back a minimum 5 years we need all the picks we can get
The Rams have shown that first round picks are over-rated as long as the salary cap continues to rise. Just keep restructuring existing contracts and sign the free agents you need.
Okay, I will say it. The Browns will be the Texans in 3 years. 1. DW will be suspended for a chunk of year one. 2. By year two when they are paying out the wazzoo, the Browns will struggle to keep their top players. Every team has the same amount of $$ to spend.
Did anyone else notice that the Browns showed Goodell the finger by structuring Watson’s contract such that he has only $1 million in salary in the first year? Thus any suspension costs essentially nothing.
Or they were tipped off as to how his suspension will go and acted accordingly.