This Deshaun Watson saga is dragging on longer than the the first service on Sunday. Trifling analogy, but it fits. And the entire situation is giving the Cleveland Browns, a team that is desperately trying to improve and become a championship contender with stability at the QB position, more fits.
Hard To Prepare, Too Much Uncertainty
Watson’s arrival doesn’t come without excessive baggage, as the former Clemson Tigers star is under investigation. 24 women have accused him of sexual misconduct stemming from massage sessions. The situation has to be stressful, not knowing what’s next for Watson and the team.
Running back Kareem Hunt gave some insight concerning the mood of the team in an interview with Cleveland.com.
“Yeah it’s definitely stressful for them. It’s tough because they’re trying to figure out what pieces they’ve got for the season, and what plays they want to put to it. You know, there’s different plays for Deshaun and (backup) Jacoby Brissett, different playbook, different things we can do at quarterback.”
Cleveland Can’t Get Right
Minus a 2020 season which saw them go 11-5 and make the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the Cleveland Browns have been in relative obscurity. They also won a playoff game for the first time since 1994. But in 2021 with lofty expectations, the Browns underachieved and missed the playoffs.
The offseason has seen some surprises to say the least, none bigger than the team trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and immediately signing him to the largest guaranteed contract (five years, $230 million) in NFL history.
The move for all intents and purposes ended the four-year run of 2018 No. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback, despite the team picking up his big money fifth-year option.
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) June 5, 2022
Watson Just Finished Hearing With League
This week the NFL held hearings on the situation, and a decision on Watson is expected soon. Many believe it could be a suspension that covers an entire season, which would be the second consecutive season the star signal caller hasn’t touched the gridiron.
The Browns and Watson are hoping for the best, and that it won’t be an entire season, and while Brissett is a solid succession plan, he isn’t anywhere near the talent of Watson.
Hunt, probably speaks for most of his teammates who are all wondering what the end result of the investigation and hearing will be. With Watson, the Browns have the roster that could make a deep playoff run, without him, they’re a fringe playoff team at best.
Hunt Is Part Of Best Running Back Duo In The NFL
Without Watson, the Browns will have to lean on a talented defense led by star edge rushers Myles Garrett and JaDeveon Clowney. All-Pro cornerback Denzel Ward leads the secondary.
On offense the aforementioned Hunt and his backfield mate Nick Chubb will be asked to tote the mail, and help bring Brissett along. Their power running will be key to the playaction pass game, with new wide receiver Amari Cooper leading the way for the pass catchers.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt
Best RB duo in the game 🥇 pic.twitter.com/cQI4PuSiSe
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 10, 2021
Head coach Kevin Stefanski did a masterful coaching job in 2020, winning NFL Coach of the Year, he may need to channel some of that in 2022.