Will Deshaun Watson Make an Impact with the Browns, or Will his Season Be Done Before it Starts?

Will Deshaun Watson Make an Impact with the Browns, or Will his Season Be Done Before it Starts?

Ayden Fahlstrom
2 years ago
3 min read
Deshaun Watson, General Manager Andrew Berry and Coach Kevin Stefanski all hold up Deshaun Watson's number four jersey at the end of Watson's introductory presser to the media at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, OH.

It is okay to not feel great about Deshaun Watson being traded to the Cleveland Browns due to the ongoing legal issues surrounding him. However, one thing is certain: the Browns have gotten better as a team this offseason with it. 

The Cleveland Browns are the favorite to win the AFC North as they currently are listed as +200 to win the division, tied with their rival in Baltimore. Cleveland is fifth in the AFC to make it to win the conference as they have +1000 odds and are now +2000 to win the Super Bowl as of this writing, which is 10th in the NFL. 

What Did They Do This Offseason?

The Cleveland Browns have not been quiet this offseason as they have released wide receiver Jarvis Landry and tight end Austin Hooper but traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper and quarterback Deshaun Watson. They now have Baker Mayfield on the market but they have six picks in the NFL Draft (44, 78, 99, 118, 202, 233) that can help and there are still some impactful free agents that they can make a run at as they look more credible than ever. 

The issue is we do not know if Watson is going to be suspended by the NFL. There is a precedent that a suspension can happen without a court ruling he is guilty and that could hurt for anywhere from four games to an entire season. He did not play all of last season and led the NFL in passing in 2020 without DeAndre Hopkins as his number one option. 

How Did the Rest of the AFC North Do This Offseason?

The Steelers struggled as they are looking at the first year without Ben Roethlisberger under center and signed Mitchell Trubisky to take the reigns. They also improved defensively by signing linebacker Myles Jack but are not expected to be a force in the division.

The Ravens have been relatively quiet but have made big impactful moves with the additions of safety Marcus Williams, defensive lineman Michael Pierce, and offensive tackle Morgan Moses to replace the retiring Alejandro Villanueva. The offense has essentially stayed the same and they are banking on Lamar Jackson returning healthy and playing back to his standards. 

The Bengals are coming off a Super Bowl appearance and built up their offensive line with Alex Cappa, La’el Collins, and Ted Karras all signing with the team. They have a young core and could continue to be a threat but defensively there are still issues. 

How Far Can the Cleveland Browns Go With Watson?

The Cleveland Browns have a solid offense with the running back threat of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb as well as Deshaun Watson under center. They are banking on Amari Cooper returning to form outside of Dallas but this team does have a ceiling to it right now. 

The defense did not really improve this offseason and could be addressed in the draft but Watson did make them a serious contender. As things shakeup right now, they will compete for the division title and make the playoffs but winning in the AFC right now is tough. Kansas City, Buffalo, Miami, Las Vegas, Denver, and Los Angeles all are threats now besides the teams still in the AFC North. Cleveland can make the playoffs and hope things fall their way but the 2022 NFL season as of right now will not end with the Browns hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but it can if they continue to improve in free agency and the NFL Draft. 

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