The smoke has officially cleared in the professional football saga of Deshaun Watson now that he is a member of the Cleveland Browns. However, during the process, Watson wouldn’t consider the Philadelphia Eagles at all so that it wouldn’t affect the budding career of Philly’s current QB, Jalen Hurts.
Many NFL teams inquired about Watson, especially after a Harris County, Texas, grand jury eliminated the potential for criminal charges. According to multiple reports, the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Carolina Panthers were also in the running, and rumors were that the Browns were no longer in consideration.
However, that changed, and the Browns are reportedly giving Watson a fully guaranteed $230 million contract for five years, according to reports. Watson reportedly will receive a $45 million signing bonus and his 2022 seasonal base salary of $1 million.
OFFICIAL: We have acquired 3-time Pro Bowl QB Deshaun Watson in a trade with the Texans
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 20, 2022
The Watson Way
It is now the most significant guarantee in NFL history. Texans GM Nick Caserio discussed the process for the now historic deal.
“I would say there was a fair amount of teams, but what we tried to do was bring the teams that had a legitimate interest, and that was based off the compensation that was presented,” said Caserio, according to Pro Football Network.
“Going back to the earlier questions, I think there was a certain threshold that I had established in order to make it a legitimate discussion, and if we got to that point then we could engage further. I don’t want to get into the exact number, but there was a few more, however, many teams than what everybody was reporting towards the end.”
However, the Eagles were not an option for Watson based on his friendship with Jalen Hurts and the undercurrent of Black power surging behind the scenes. Reportedly, it is why he didn’t waive his no-trade clause for them.
Via Deshaun Watson’s agent on IG: pic.twitter.com/hWECdc9riJ
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) March 20, 2022
No Flex Zone
A no-trade clause is an amendment to a contract where the Texans could not trade Watson to another club without his consent.
Watson was drafted from Clemson in 2017, in the first round as the twelfth pick. Hurts was a second-round draft pick from Oklahoma, the fifty-third pick in the 2020 draft.
Black sports agents represent both Watson and Hurts. Watson is represented by David Mulugheta of Athletes First, and Nicole Lynn of Young Money Sports represents Hurts. Like their quarterback clients. The two agents lead a new generation of agents whose culture is more representative of their clients than a typical sports agency administrative staff.
Josina Anderson just said stuff is about to get crazy
Jalen Hurts removed QB for the Philadelphia Eagles from his bio and his location says “Houston, Texas”
Is Howie really gonna ship Jalen to Houston for Deshaun Watson… ⁉️ pic.twitter.com/hgnaAbOoz7
— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) March 12, 2022
In 2019, Lynn became the first Black woman in NFL history to represent a top-three draft pick with Quinnen Williams, the third overall pick, who went to the New York Jets.
Although they are competitors, Mulugheta and Lynn are supportive of each other, becoming friends at a Senior Bowl annual pre-draft event in Alabama.
Keep the same energy…
— David Mulugheta (@DavidMulugheta) March 11, 2022
With the fraternity of Black quarterbacks in the NFL being a small group of the best, Watson’s choice not to waive the no-trade clause to keep Hurts’ career in Philly intact was a mix of “bro code” and doing it for the culture.
Staying the course led Watson to his historic contract with the Browns. Although Watson survived the worst of his ordeal and still faces 22 civil lawsuits, the strategy factored in respect for Hurts and a Black quarterback bond.