Curran: Deshaun Watson’s ripple effects felt by the patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Fruit that has fallen from Bill Belichick’s tree hasn’t often been this sweet. This applies to coaches and – to a lesser extent – employees.
But in the future let the record show that Texan GM Nick Caserio finished on the winning side of what will likely be the most lopsided trade in NFL history.
Dealing quarterback Deshaun Watson for SIX picks (including three first-rounders) after Watson made it clear he would never play in Houston again and fought 20 lawsuits from women for sexual misconduct? That’s like someone taking a burning stick of dynamite from your hand and paying you for the chance to do it.
The situation in Watson continued to unfold this weekend, with the NFL reportedly pushing for an indefinite suspension that will take at least a year†
The reasoning behind that, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, is that the two-year statute of limitations for charges will expire in March 2023. That assumes Watson’s behavior stopped when the first lawsuit was filed in March 2021. So, unlike the Ben Roethlisberger situation in 2010, when the league imposed a six-game suspension and reduced to four for “good behavior”there will probably be no cut for Watson.
The outlook of Watson playing in the league is bad enough given the avalanche of accusations. If he allowed him to come back this season with the specter of fresh charges and re-discipline, the damage would triple.
So Watson, who the Browns inexplicably gave the most lucrative and rock-solid contract in NFL history — a fully guaranteed five-year pact of $230 million — will likely serve out for the second consecutive season. Meanwhile, Cleveland has completely alienated their functional former starter, Baker Mayfieldwith Watson’s pursuit and signing.
Now Mayfield and his $19 million salary are still on the books, but not participating in anything by mutual agreement. The Browns cannot find a trading partner for Mayfield for that salary and – eventually – will likely have to release him and turn the team over to Jacoby Brissett.
In the not-too-distant past, patriots didn’t have to worry about what was going on with middle class teams during their conference. Now the patriots are one of the crabs in the bucket. … When those teams get bad news, they pray, but that’s good news in New England.
Tom E. Curran on the AFC . Middle Class
But back to Caserio. Recall that it was his Houston hiring that prompted Watson to start his wildcat strike. Watson was “furious” that he was not consulted during the GM search and the Caserio/Jack Easterby coalition in the front office caused Watson to enter a holdout, despite having just agreed to a four-year extension of $160 million. months earlier.
Caserio played poker all the time. Even as the charges against Watson started rolling in, Caserio wasn’t selling his strange and ailing possession for peanuts (Watson also had a no-trade clause, so that was factored in). Despite all the slingshots and arrows absorbed by the Texans and all the pointing and laughing we’ve all done, Caserio negotiated the Watson situation more adeptly than anyone could have ever predicted.
Meanwhile, the ripple effects of Cleveland’s situation are being felt here in New England. First, it is highly unlikely that Watson will be on the pitch when the Browns and Patriots play on October 16† That will make life easier for the patriots that day. In addition, the Browns’ near-constant state of disarray is helping the Patriots in the AFC.
In the not-too-distant past, the Patriots didn’t have to worry about what happened to middle-class teams in their conference. New England looked down on everyone. Now the Patriots are one of the crabs in the bucket, along with Cleveland, Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, Indy, etc.
When those teams get bad news, they pray, but that’s good news in New England. The Browns practically have an assembly line for bad news.
Since 2000, when they fielded Spergon Wynn for Tom Brady, they have had 33 different starters in the position. Mayfield, DeShone Kizer and Johnny Manziel were taken over the past decade with the first, 22nd and 52nd picks in the draft. Compared to the other two, Mayfield was a Hall of Famer. Now he will be out. Watson — the human millstone — will one day be inside. And former Browns coach Bill Belichick will forever be happy with the way life has turned out.