A closer look at Deshaun Watson’s deal from both sides – Terry’s Talkin’ Browns

Why I don’t like the DESHAUN WATSON DEAL

I wrote an emotional column the Friday after the trade was made, Brown ripping up the deal. A day later, I still don’t like it for several reasons:

1. The Browns just made Deshaun Watson the highest paid player in the NFL by guaranteed money. All that matters is the secured cash. Watson’s new five-year deal worth $230 million is fully guaranteed.

2. It’s not just the richest guaranteed deal ever, and no one is close to it. Second highest is Aaron Rodgers of the Packers with a $150 million guarantee.

3. Brown gave all that money to a player who missed last season due to legal issues. A player who still faces civil suits from 22 women. And for a player who is likely to be suspended for some games in 2022.

4. Even the Watson camp expects the service to be suspended. That’s why his contract starts with an immediate signing bonus of $45 million. His salary for 2022 is $1 million. why are you doing that? If it is stopped, it will only come from a million dollar salary. That’s about $57,000 per game — according to Mary Kay Capote of cleveland.com.

5. I wonder how the NFL sees it, an obvious move to overcome the pain of a potential suspension. League can not be happy. Now Brown and Watson are waiting for what comes next from the NFL.

6. Watson’s annual salary is $46 million. It’s $1 million more than Chief Chief Patrick Mahomes’ average salary ($45 million). Then comes Bills ‘Josh Allen and the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott with $40 million. Rodgers is No. 1 with $50 million.

7. On September 5, 2020, Watson signed a $156 million four-year extension with Houston which included a no-trade clause. He had three years left on that contract, along with a no-trade clause. Watson’s agent convinced Al Brown to tear up that deal.

8. Watson’s agent must be the agent of the year to withdraw this order. These meetings should have been about Watson explaining his side of the charges against him. Sure, that was part of it. But it appears to have mostly been about Cleveland, Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans selling themselves to Watson – asking what he would need to waive the no-trade clause. It was a huge renegotiation of the contract.

9. Some fans have asked how this differs from Karim Hunt’s signature with Brown. I was against it at the time. But from a business point of view, it was easy. Hunt was released. He had no influence. Sign a cheap contract with a few bucks guaranteed. Even its two-year $13 million extension contains conduct clauses, etc.

10. Brown also had to send three first-round picks to Houston in the trade. The last time a team traded three first-round runs for a player was in 1989, Minnesota did so to capture Dallas’s Herschel Walker. It worked well in Dallas, not for Minnesota. To be fair, six total picks were traded to Dallas with several other players — more than Brown gave Houston.

11. The Browns will not have first-round picks in 2022, 2023, and 2024. First-round picks are precious as they give the team a chance to draft potential freshmen/even future Pro Bowl players with salary-friendly freshman contracts.

12. The first year (2022) of Watson’s contract counts only $10 million on the salary cap. After that, it devours the cover space. This is not baseball (no cap) or the NBA (soft cap). You have to manage your NFL salary cap or have trouble compiling a roster. Starter contracts help – which is why Watson’s huge dollar pool is so hard to manage and first-round owners lose out.

13. There will be painful PR repercussions from the deal. This is one of the biggest/most expensive deals in NFL history that also comes with a lot of question marks and ethical issues – at least in my mind.

A grand jury did not indict Deshaun Watson last week, but he still faces civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct.AP

dissenting voice

Here’s an email from Rudy Wachtler:

“All the writers go out of their way to throw a wet cover on this deal. How many of them enjoyed the Super Bowl halftime, loved the Kobe Bryant movie, danced to Michael Jackson’s tunes, and watched 70,000 teary-eyed fans at Pittsburgh’s sweet farewell to Ben Roethsburg? How about Robert? Kraft?

Would you rather another decade of desperation in football trying to compete with these guys: Mahomes, Herbert, Allen, Burrow, Jackson, Wilson? How do we make the playoffs let alone compete for the Super Bowl?

“Now we have five or 10 years of rivalry in football in Cleveland. Let’s not complain about it. The world is not an ideal place. It is full of bad guys that we have to live with. All these guys are paying them as mercenaries anyway; mostly from somewhere else. Do we attract them? Maybe we root for billionaires? No, we encourage winning football games in Cleveland.”

Mayfield Watson

Teammates now but not for long. AP

Why did Brown do it?

I checked with some NFL sources on why Brown made the move, and I learned this:

1. They are tired of losing. They are tired of not having a QB. And in the end, they got tired of Baker Mayfield – though they’d never say so. QB in Watson’s lifetime is rare and the ability is.

2. Watson was not accused of any crime, after a grand jury hearing. Brown investigated the civil charges. They have a “comfort level” with those in terms of wanting to add Watson to the team as he deals with civil charges. They spoke to people in Clemson and Houston – including women – about Watson. They checked it for a long time.

3. Prior to the appearance of the charges, Watson had a good reputation in Clemson and in his first four years with Houston. He was known as a strong leader, community man, and a good representative of his various bands.

4. BROWN believes that leadership and other positive traits will prevail, and Watson has learned from this situation. They know it can be put on hold for part of 2022. They see this deal as a long-term commitment. They will bear the current fallout because they believe things will work out.

5. Watson is entering his prime at the age of 26. He suffered a knee injury to his ACL in 2017, but has been in good health since then. For his career, he completed 67.8% of his passes. This is the best in NFL history for someone who threw at least 1,500 passes. They consider him one of the top five players in QB.

6. Watson threw 104 TD passes compared to 36 interceptions. Brown hasn’t had a QB like him since Bernie Kosar in the late ’80s. He joins a team built to win now, with Karim Hunt and Nick Chappe on the backcourt, new receiver Amari Cooper and a fine offensive line. Defense must also be in the top 10 units.

7. Al-Bunni knows that they were not his first choice, otherwise why did he reject them in the first place? But they also know that it’s rare to get a chance at QB at this point in his career. So they were willing to give him the richest guaranteed contract in NFL history along with sending his three first-round picks to Houston.

8. Watson’s agent told that his client wanted a new contract or he would not waive the no-trade clause. All the teams were talking about a new deal, not just Brown.

9. Denver made a big deal for Russell Wilson. Last year, the Rams traded two first-round matches and Jared Goff to Detroit for Matt Stafford — and they both won the Super Bowl. It’s time to take a bold step. If you do, the man who plays the most important position on the field should have it.

10. COACH Kevin Stefansky now has a nimble, mobile QB who can manage his attack and other types of offenses. If Stefanski can lead 11-5 and Brown beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs with Mayfield in 2020, the ceiling should be much higher with Watson.

11. They’ve been talking about a way to get Watson for months. This was their “Plan A”. They were determined to make it happen and knew the price would be exorbitant. General Manager Andrew Perry developed a relationship with Watson’s agents.

12. AL BROWN knows there will be a salary cap and draft consequences for the Watson deal, but it’s worth taking the opportunity to change the QB franchise.

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