Trade Grade: Houston Texans trade Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns

Image Credit: (Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sprts)

Is the NFL trying to cause climate change or something with these blockbuster trades? The wait is over. Deshaun Watson is finally traded to a new team. Many thought he would go to Atlanta, New Orleans, Carolina, or even Seattle like I thought would happen. Well the answer is that Deshaun Watson will be playing with the Cleveland Browns next season, after a blockbuster deal was just made.

Cleveland Browns Acquire: QB Deshaun Watson and a 2024 5th Round Pick
Houston Texans Acquire: A 2022 1st Round Pick (13th Overall), a 2023 1st Round Pick, a 2024 1st Round Pick, and an undisclosed 3rd Round Pick and 5th Round Pick.

Cleveland Browns Side

The Browns have gotten complete desperate. This move proves it 100% and while many reported that the Browns were out in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, it is clear that he had a change of heart. It was obvious that the Browns were not happy with Baker Mayfield and his performance last season. Houston we have a problem, that we need your help with solving. They did solve it but it came to at an insane price in both draft capital and salary cap. The Browns are trading three first round picks, a mid round pick and are downgrading a pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The draft capital they sacrificed is a lot, but now we get to the contract. Oh boy, it is big one that is for sure. When I saw it I nearly did a spit take with my water in shock.

The contract is a 5 year worth $230 million dollars. That is crazy in general but you know what is just plain insanity? This is a fully guaranteed contract. Ok, so normally I don’t like capitalizing a full sentence but I will make an exception here to Cleveland. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?!?! Look at how a fully guaranteed contract worked so well with the Minnesota Vikings with Kirk Cousins. Kirk Cousins contract was just for $84 million dollars. This is 2.75 times more larger than Cousins right now. Do you know what this is going to do to your salary cap for 5 years? Having $46 million per year over the next five seasons to just one player is way too much for anyone to be paying. If you are getting prime Watson, this could work but this has a big risk added as there is a chance of injury and Watson not being the same player he was due to a year off.

My goodness, now that is a blockbuster deal and contract. This is incredibly risky for the Browns and if it does not pan, out it could lead to GM Andrew Berry losing his job. There will be some horrible cap ramifications in the future and years of this franchise being setback if this blows up in their face. The question is, what will Cleveland do with Baker Mayfield?

Houston Texans Side:

This was inevitable. There was no chance that Deshaun Watson was going to play for this organization ever again. Blame Bill O’Brien for that. The Texans were willing to be patient when it came to the whole legal situation regarding Watson and that patience seems to have paid off. They get an assortment of draft capital, get rid of a tremendous distraction, and get salary relief by no longer having to deal with Watson’s contract. This brings a boost to the Texans on their rebuild. It will be interesting to see how they handle the picks and salary cap to build the team. But the fact that Jack Easterby still remains a part of the organization does not help with my confidence in them. Remind me why he is still a part of the Texans organization?

Grades for Deshaun Watson Trade
Cleveland Browns: B-
Houston Texans: A

No question who wins this deal here to me, obviously the Houston Texans. They get rid of a player who did not want to be there, get a lot of draft picks to build the team, and get salary relief to spend in free agency. The Browns while they get a franchise QB that they are more confident having. However there is still a lot of risk with this move. Especially the insane contract that they gave to him once this deal was revealed and the risk that follows the move. Great move by Houston Texans GM Nick Caserio and very risky move made by Cleveland GM Andrew Berry. If I am a Cleveland Browns fan right know I would hope that this deal works. If not, the Factory of Sadness will reopen again.

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