Browns Insider Says Team Won’t Give Deshaun Watson Long Leash

The Cleveland Browns are banking on Deshaun Watson looking like a franchise quarterback next season. If he doesn’t, a prominent insider believes the team will not hesitate to change course.

Cleveland Browns: The Deshaun Watson trade is finally, officially, complete  - Dawgs By Nature

Watson hasn’t lived up to expectations so far in Cleveland following a blockbuster 2022 trade. The Browns gave up a trio of first-round picks and also handed Watson a $230 million fully guaranteed contract. So far, Watson has appeared in 12 games, passing for 2,217 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions.

Watson has had his moments, but the majority of his time with the Browns has been underwhelming. If he struggles in his return from season-ending shoulder surgery, the Browns will consider other options, per insider Mary Kay Cabot.

“The Browns have the bar set high for this season, regardless of who the quarterback is,” Cabot said on the latest edition of the Orange and Browns Talk podcast.”Last year, the ship kept sailing along, even after Deshaun Watson suffered the fractured shoulder. They got Joe Flacco to come in here and get them to the playoffs.

“If for some reason Deshaun Watson isn’t the quarterback they expect him to be, if he’s not that guy, then they will try Jameis Winston and turn it over to him. Because the bottom line is they’re trying to win games. They’re not going to let down the rest of the football team to have a long leash on someone.”

Cabot: Browns Won’t Get Hung Up on Deshaun Watson Investment

Browns QB Watson only talks football after NFL suspension

The Browns are very much all in on Watson in a financial sense. His cap hit of $63.7 million is the highest in the league next season. But Cabot believes the team’s commitment to winning goes beyond what they’re doling out to Watson.

“The bar is set at winning games, throwing touchdowns, avoiding interceptions, and keeping this team in the playoff hunt. If he’s not doing that, he’ll be treated like anybody else,” Cabot said. “They’re not going to sacrifice this season just in the name of ‘oh, we spent three first-round picks on this guy and $230 million.’ That’s not how it’s going to go. They’ll do whatever it takes to win games. And whichever quarterback gives them the best chance to do that is who is going to be playing.”

The Browns’ next option on the depth chart is Jameis Winston. The former top pick was signed this offseason to be Watson’s backup. If Watson does struggle, Cleveland’s hope would be that Winston could step in as Joe Flacco did last season and steady the ship. However, Winston doesn’t have a reputation for taking care of the ball, with 99 career interceptions in 80 starts.

Browns Don’t Expect Deshaun Watson to Struggle

The Browns are going to be the most fun NFL team in 2019, win or lose -

After laying out the worst-case scenario, Cabot did make it clear that Cleveland expects Watson to be solid next season.

“They do not foresee a problem with Deshaun Watson at all, from a health standpoint or a performance standpoint,” Cabot said. “They feel 100% that he is poised and ready to go out there and have an excellent season.”

Browns general Andrew Berry has said as much when talking about Watson and his future with the franchise.

“[We] do feel really good about him, happy with the progress that he’s made within our organization, both on the field and off the field,” Berry said in January. “And we’re looking forward to get him back next year. We think he’s going to have a really big year and have a ton of confidence in him as our starting quarterback.”

The Browns are optimistic but have to be realistic about their expectations. Watson is coming off serious shoulder surgery and hasn’t played more than six games in a season since 2020. Ideally, he’ll bounce back and look like a Pro Bowler once again. But the team appears prepared if that’s not the case.

Related Posts

Mike McCarthy discusses what he expects from Ezekiel Elliott

UDFA QB John Rhys Plumlee Reveals Why He Chose Steelers

With John Rhys Plumlee seeing action at wide receiver at UCF, there was speculation that he could play wide receiver in the NFL, but he put that…

Zach Frazier explains wearing No. 54 with Pittsburgh Steelers

Zach Frazier can’t help his toughness. It’s embedded in his soul. The Steelers rookie loved Pittsburgh’s physical style of play when he was growing up in West Virginia….

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Strikes Down Scrutiny Facing Rookie J.J. McCarthy

Thіѕ ѕtаɡe of the NFL offѕeаѕon іѕ fіlled wіth hіɡhlіɡhtѕ аnd lowlіɡhtѕ of pаdleѕѕ prаctіceѕ — whіch Mіnneѕotа Vіkіnɡѕ coаch Kevіn O’Connell аrɡued to not reаd too…

Justin Simmons has 1 classy request to fans about Broncos rookie

The Denver Broncoѕ hаve ɡotten themѕelveѕ іnto а trіcky cаp ѕіtuаtіon. Denver trаded ѕіɡnіfіcаnt аѕѕetѕ for QB Ruѕѕell Wіlѕon from the Seаttle Seаhаwkѕ two yeаrѕ аɡo. The…

Coveted Free Agent Receiver Turned Down Kansas City Chiefs

Zаy Joneѕ ѕіɡned wіth the Arіzonа Cаrdіnаlѕ on Frіdаy, but before joіnіnɡ the Cаrdіnаlѕ on а one-yeаr deаl, he hаd drаwn іntereѕt from the Kаnѕаѕ Cіty Chіefѕ….