We are now two weeks into the 2022 offseason and free agency period. A lot has changed around the league and more specifically in Cleveland, Ohio. It is important for us to take a pause and a restock on what has transpired these past fourteen days. It is easy to miss individual events with such a flurry of activity. With such activity also came a shuffling of the draft order. We will have a full seven round mock draft for the Cleveland Browns later this week. In part one of this series we will take a look on how the quarterback room has changed.
A New QB1
The biggest move the Cleveland Browns have made has undoubtedly been the trade for former Houston Texan Deshaun Watson. Watson will join the Browns as the new signal caller. He has also signed a contract that will keep him in Cleveland for the foreseeable future. The total cost of the deal is as follows:
- Deshaun Watson
- 2024 6th Round Pick
- 2022 1st Round Pick (#13)
- 2022 4th Round Pick (#107)
- 2023 1st Round Pick
- 2023 3rd Round Pick
- 2024 1st Round Pick
- 2024 4th Round Pick
This was one of the largest trades in NFL history and was quickly followed up with a contract extension. Watson was given a 5 year $230 million extension that will keep him in Cleveland through the 2026 season. The deal is fully guaranteed which means he will be playing out the entire contract as a member of the Browns. Watson obviously comes with his own set of off the field issues that will have to be resolved with the league office prior to the 2022 season. We don’t wish to speculate on the length of any possible suspension, but will accurately report any information as it is revealed.
Backup or Short Term Starter?
This trade was not the only piece of quarterback news for the Cleveland Browns. The team also reached an agreement on a one year deal with free agent quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The deal is worth $4.65 million. This deal comes on the heels of Case Keenum being traded to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a seventh round draft pick. Brissett will serve as the team’s backup for 2022 and may potentially get a few starts based on any suspension Watson will receive.
Finally that brings us to the elephant in the quarterback room, Baker Mayfield. As of this publication Baker Mayfield is still on the roster for the Cleveland Browns. Andrew Berry and the front office are attempting to pursue suitors for a possible trade for Mayfield, but interested teams are drying up. Mayfield is owed $18 million for his fifth year option and this is a price that many teams seem to be out on for Mayfield’s services.
This offseason has seemed like a messy divorce for the former starter and the front office, but rumors are circulating that this has been coming to a head for a while now. The injury and the way Mayfield performed this season did nothing to help that. Throw in the drama with Odell Beckham Jr’s release and those on the inside have seen this coming for a while. Regardless of how this situation ends, us fans cannot forget what Mayfield has done for this city. From his first game Thursday night against the Jets to bringing the first playoff victory in multiple decades, Mayfield was a bright spot in what has been a dark history for the modern Cleveland Browns.