Why Did the Browns Trade for Deshaun Watson?

    The Browns made the controversial decision to trade for QB Deshaun Watson despite off-the-field issues. Why did the Browns trade for Watson?

    Diving into the philosophy of why the Cleveland Browns traded six draft picks for QB Deshaun Watson is a fascinating voyage. The Browns front office knew they would receive plenty of criticism and public outcry for this move, as it would not be a popular decision among the fan base.

    Cleveland’s organization also knew its willingness to offer a fully guaranteed contract had never been done before — and that their deal could reset the QB marketplace for other NFL front offices, and they would receive backlash across the league from their peers.

    Ultimately, the Browns determined the risk was worth the reward. Let’s look at the reasons why the Browns traded for Watson.

    The Cleveland Browns Are a Desperate Franchise

    The Browns are a desperate franchise. The Browns have never won a Super Bowl, and the pressure around the organization to finally reach the sport’s mountain top is increasing.

    The Browns haven’t always been a team with heightened expectations, but as the team has improved, reaching the playoffs is the next logical step to the ultimate game, the Super Bowl.

    Keeping Up With the Joneses

    The Browns look around the AFC and see talented QBs everywhere. The last time the Browns made the playoffs, they ran into Patrick Mahomes and saw firsthand how big of a difference a top-tier QB can make for an organization.

    Cleveland saw Joe Burrow in Cincinnati and Lamar Jackson in Baltimore in their division and knew they needed to upgrade at the QB position. Cleveland drafted Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall as their franchise QB but quickly realized his limitations and pivoted.

    Browns’ Offensive Personnel

    Cleveland evaluated their team and determined that if they had the right QB in place, they could compete for a Super Bowl.

    MORE: QB Power Rankings 2023

    They have some weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Nick Chubb is one of the best RBs in the NFL. Amari Cooper and David Njoku are two of the top receiving options in the NFC North. The hope was that Watson could unlock their upside.

    Browns’ Defensive Personnel

    The Browns have some mainstays on the defensive side of the football.

    Myles Garrett is a premier defensive end in the NFL, capable of taking over a game in the trenches. Denzel Ward is one of the better CBs in the AFC, capable of shadowing the best receivers in the game. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah provides one of the best athletes in the middle of the field.

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