Well, that Deshuan Watson trade hasn't panned out, huh? The Cleveland Browns opted to make a deal for the devil, so to speak, in 2022 when they traded a massive haul of draft picks to the Houston Texans in exchange for the embattled and disgraced Watson. A move that was met with a lot of uproar, considering the numerous counts of sexual misconduct levied against Watson.
Accounts that have stained Watson's legacy forever. In making the trade for Watson, the Texans made off like bandits. They were able to land Kenyon Green, John Metchie III, Christian Harris, Dameon Pierce, Thomas Booker, Tank Dell, and Will Anderson Jr. thanks to the picks that the Browns gave Houston. All while still having two more draft picks this year that belong to Cleveland as well.
For the Browns' end of things, they've had a losing season in year one, and made the playoffs in year two, but only after Watson went down with a season-ending injury. His play hasn't been much better when healthy. While some will argue that he's been a success, as he's 8-4 in 12 games, and was 5-1 this season, people who argue that forget that he's been carried by a great defense.
Since arriving in Cleveland, Watson has only completed 59.8% of his passes, thrown for just 2,271 yards, with just 14 passing touchdowns to nine interceptions. He also isn't the same runner, with just 317 yards and two touchdowns across both seasons.
The guy they got rid of to bring in Watson? Well, that's Baker Mayfield, who is on his way to the second round of the NFL playoff to face off with the Detroit Lions, all while having, arguably, the best season of his career. Mayfield was in the Top 10 of numerous stats like passing yards, touchdowns, and the like, and had a quarterback rating just out of the Top 10.
All while being the only real catalyst on his offense. The Buccaneers have over-relied on Mayfield all season and he's delivered, even if he was sacked north of 40 times this season. Clearly, Mayfield has proven he can win with whatever is around him. Plus having Mike Evans doesn't hurt. But the Browns gave up on that for a man in Watson, who may never be the same again.
And all that, plus they gave Watson a guaranteed contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It's hard to say that the Texans didn't win that trade a thousand times over, because not only did they get out from the disaster that was Watson, they drafted C.J. Stroud and already tied Watson's win total in the playoffs.
Making the Browns decision to trade for him one of the biggest disappointments in NFL history.