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Deshaun Watson traded to Cleveland Browns

Five-year, $230 million, fully-guaranteed contract largest of its kind in NFL history
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 3:57 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - In what is being called a “stunning turn of events,” Deshaun Watson is expected to sign a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

To finalize the deal, Watson waived his no-trade clause with the Houston Texans, according to Rappaport.

The trade involves the Browns sending three first-round draft picks along with a third and fourth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for the quarterback, who will likely be named the starter over Baker Mayfield, who requested to be traded yesterday.

The Browns also receive a fifth-round draft pick in 2024.

Mayfield, who the Browns took as the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, led Cleveland to its first playoff victory in 26 years during the 2020 season.

He is in the final year of his rookie deal, which would pay him $19 million this season.

The Browns were informed yesterday that they were out of the running for the 26-year-old quarterback, and the two teams considered the frontrunners to sign him were reportedly the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.

Former Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas posted his reaction on Twitter, as did former Cleveland Cavalier and current Los Angeles Laker LeBron James.

Watson did not play for the Texans during the 2021 season after requesting a trade.

He was also the defendant in 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions.

A Texas grand jury opted last week not to indict Watson on any criminal charges related to those incidents.

Watson could still face suspensions and other penalties from the league related to the allegations, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not made a formal decision yet.

“Any transaction would have no effect on the NFL’s ongoing and comprehensive investigation of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson. Nor would it affect his status under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy,” league officials stated Friday. “If the league’s investigation determined that Watson violated the Personal Conduct Policy, discipline may be imposed pursuant to the policy and the CBA.”

[ Cleveland Browns fans divided over decision to bring on QB Deshaun Watson ]

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