NFL insider Albert Breer has claimed that the Cleveland Browns could be set to play with Deshaun Watson this season despite his off-field issues.
The Cleveland Browns took an awfully big risk this offseason when they made the trade for Deshaun Watson, who is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits surrounding allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, something they were very much aware of when bringing him on board.
When you play as well as Watson has done in his NFL career, throwing for over 15,000 yards and 108 touchdowns across his four full seasons in the NFL, with 19 rushing touchdowns thrown in on top for good measure, you fall into the category of ‘worth the gamble’, knowing that there is plenty of upside for you to work on.
With a possible suspension hanging over him, it may turn out to be a waste of time for the organisation, but according to Breer, the Browns might be in the clear somewhat for the time being when it comes to the man who could very well be their next franchise quarterback.
What has Breer said?
Writing in his MAQB column for SI.com, Breer explained how the timing of NFL officials wanting to speak to Watson might provide something of a benefit for the team in the short run. He writes that:
“If the 22 lawsuits don’t reach resolution by July 1, the sides, and the court, have agreed to essentially press pause until the NFL season is over. And if there isn’t closure there, there will be those in the NFL office who argue to wait on issuing any sort of suspension.
“That opens the possibility Watson plays the whole year in 2022, and then perhaps deals with any consequence the league assesses him in ’23.”
All or nothing in 2022?
This might have just opened up the window that the Browns needed for this season. Having shown some promise in 2020 when they made the playoffs and won their first playoff game since 1994, bringing in someone with the talent of Watson could have been the catalyst to take them over the top.
That might have taken a stumble in 2022, but if as Breer claims, the punishment could be pushed to 2023 then that gives them all the incentive to go all out for this year, knowing that a punishment could be coming further down the line.
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