Following his trade to the Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson has signed a new five-year contract with the team. The deal does not top the blockbuster contract signed by Aaron Rodgers in terms of average annual value, but it does set records for being the most ever guaranteed. Let’s take a look at Watson’s contract and what we know about his impact on the Browns’ salary cap in 2022.
Deshaun Watson’s contract details and bonuses
Following the trade, Watson has signed a deal worth $230 million across five years. At $46 million per year, it is slightly short of the highest-paid quarterback contract in the NFL, which belongs to Rodgers at $50 million per year. However, Watson’s contract does beat the previous highest contract, which belonged to Patrick Mahomes.
The incredible part about the contract is that the entire deal is fully guaranteed. That is $80 million more than the next highest amount of guaranteed money in any other NFL contract. The deal contains a $45 million signing bonus and a $1 million salary in 2022.
Watson has five years remaining on his contract
Having just signed the contract, Watson has the full five years remaining on his deal. That will place him under contract through 2026. If Watson does not agree to a new contract with the Browns, he would be a free agent in the 2027 offseason.
Impact of Watson’s deal on the Browns salary cap
Had Watson’s old deal remained, he would have counted $35 million against the Browns salary cap. However, with a $45 million signing bonus and a $1 million salary, his cap number for 2022 will be around $10 million. The salary is at the minimum, presumably projecting a suspension to ensure Watson loses as little money as possible.
The signing bonus will prorate across the five years at $9 million per year. That is the base value of his cap number for the next four years. However, with just $46 million in cash in the first year, there is another $184 million owed to him over the next four years of the deal.