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Poll: What does Deshaun need to accomplish to justify his contract? (1 Viewer)

What accomplishment makes the Deshaun Watson signing "worth it?"

  • Win at least one Super Bowl

    Votes: 36 39.6%
  • Reach at least one Super Bowl

    Votes: 21 23.1%
  • Consistent playoff team

    Votes: 21 23.1%
  • Consistent contender for a playoff spot

    Votes: 2 2.2%
  • No accomplishment necessary. He's worth taking a chance no matter what happens.

    Votes: 11 12.1%

  • Total voters
    91

Neil Beaufort Zod

Footballguy
That's a lot of guaranteed money and a lot of picks for a five-year deal. Wondering what people think the Browns need to accomplish (if anything) to look back and say it was worth it. 

Edit: I voted reach at least one Super Bowl. Anything can happen in one game, but if they reach at least one they were likely a contender during his tenure and gave Cleveland fans a chance to talk about the Super Bowl with something on the line. 

 
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wgoldsph

Footballguy
I also voted reach one.   Individual games can be won by individual plays and players, see Bills/Chiefs this post season, that are outside of his hands when he gets there.  But for the price he needs to get there.

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
what is any franchise qb, who gets the next biggest deal ever, expected to do/achieve?

it's no different here. there's a new one every year. 
You also have to factor in three lost first rounders and other picks and that this contract isn’t just a “next QB up contract” it was well above the current baseline. So it is different. Would you be happy with the trade of the Browns are only a fringe playoff team for the next five years?

 

Soulfly3

Footballguy
You also have to factor in three lost first rounders and other picks and that this contract isn’t just a “next QB up contract” it was well above the current baseline. So it is different. Would you be happy with the trade of the Browns are only a fringe playoff team for the next five years?


there are going to be several teams in the AFC, w mega star (and mega paid) QBs that are "fringe" playoff teams, because it's so stacked. 

i expect at minimum an AFC championship game in the next 2 seasons. that's what I expect. the amount of things that need to break properly for a Super Bowl, i dont even think like that. 

 

Buckna

RMT Beta Tester
what is any franchise qb, who gets the next biggest deal ever, expected to do/achieve?

it's no different here. there's a new one every year. 
Agree with Soulfly here. Guy is a stud QB on the field, but we’ve already seen with Mahomes and Allen, you can be a stud QB but it doesn’t guarantee you get to the Super Bowl. Even consistent playoffs will be tough in that division with Burrow and Jackson. Similar tough row to hoe for Wilson in the AFC West.

I would just add that what he really needs to accomplish is keep his nose clean and cut his creeper #### out.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Watson is tied with Aaron Rodgers for second highest career passer rating behind Mahomes. His play has been stellar. Any issues the Texans had or any incompetences the Browns have are not on him. Future results will stem from roster moves, cap management, drafting prowess, coaching, and decision making that are all out of his control. If Watson plays like he did for HOU for five years, he would have earned his money. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Watson is tied with Aaron Rodgers for second highest career passer rating behind Mahomes. His play has been stellar. Any issues the Texans had or any incompetences the Browns have are not on him. Future results will stem from roster moves, cap management, drafting prowess, coaching, and decision making that are all out of his control. If Watson plays like he did for HOU for five years, he would have earned his money. 
This.

i voted consistent playoffs.

that gets them in the dance, where they have a chance to win a super bowl every year.

Too many factors go into actually winning one beyond QB play.

Any given year, the Browns could sustain injuries on defense, or offense or have just one bad special teams play like the Packers this year, that kills their chances of winning it all. 

There are so many cogs in that machine.

But if Watson’s play is at a high level, they should at the least be a playoff team every year to be in position to get there. 

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
what is any franchise qb, who gets the next biggest deal ever, expected to do/achieve?

it's no different here. there's a new one every year. 
it is different here. Both the value given in the trade to the potential PR backlash. 
I’m actually changing my answer from SB and contention to the business angle. Ultimately the NFL and its franchises are businesses.  Any hiring decisions (including players) are intended to make money. So how do we assess that aspect? 
last year, Cleveland was exactly mid pack in attendance, but within a few hundred of capacity. 
Browns were 8th in revenue in 2020 (I don’t see 2021 data), surprisingly high imo. Above teams I expected to be higher like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, SF, etc. Houston was 4th - which might have something to do with Watson, or it could be that Houston is huge and Texas is football (Dallas is #1 by a large margin). 
I’d imagine most owners want to win, but they are where they are because they make money. 

ultimately winning might not really be the determining factor of whether the contract and trade were good moves. Increasing revenue by more than his contract would be a good start. Which I think implies not losing fans to start, and selling more merchandise. They probably won’t lose many advertisements, although watching Watson play in pink shoes doesn’t really sell the preferred message right now. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
what is any franchise qb, who gets the next biggest deal ever, expected to do/achieve?

it's no different here. there's a new one every year. 
I disagree. Not only does he have the richest deal ever but he also cost them 3 1st round picks. This is the single biggest investment in a player ever made. 

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
I disagree. Not only does he have the richest deal ever but he also cost them 3 1st round picks. This is the single biggest investment in a player ever made. 
We are at a point in time when every year there is going to be the next biggest contract in history. In the span of a year, we’ve seen three massive trades for QB (Watson, Wilson, and Lance).  The point being, the Watson trade and contract looks crazy now, but in three years it may look pretty normal. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
If the Browns don't win a superbowl in the next 3 years, this was a disaster. 
Depends on how many jerseys they sell in the meanwhile.

31 teams don’t win a Super Bowl every year.  And 31 teams do not sell their product equally.

if this puts butts in the seats & sells jerseys for a generation, the Browns won this deal, even if they never win the SB. 

Of course the expectation is they’ll make the playoffs, but it seems silly to require that they win the Super Bowl to make this deal worthwhile.

Imagine expecting ATL or CAR to win the SB if they’d been the team Watson chose. Totally unrealistic. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
We are at a point in time when every year there is going to be the next biggest contract in history. In the span of a year, we’ve seen three massive trades for QB (Watson, Wilson, and Lance).  The point being, the Watson trade and contract looks crazy now, but in three years it may look pretty normal. 
Watson and Lance are getting paid pennys compared to Watson. Part of the allure of the QB trade up in a draft is the chance to have an elite QB on a rookie deal.

 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
Depends on how many jerseys they sell in the meanwhile.

31 teams don’t win a Super Bowl every year.  And 31 teams do not sell their product equally.

if this puts butts in the seats & sells jerseys for a generation, the Browns won this deal, even if they never win the SB. 

Of course the expectation is they’ll make the playoffs, but it seems silly to require that they win the Super Bowl to make this deal worthwhile.

Imagine expecting ATL or CAR to win the SB if they’d been the team Watson chose. Totally unrealistic. 
On a related note, Browns now 7th favorite to win next year. Anyone know their odds before the Watson trade?

https://www.vegasinsider.com/nfl/odds/futures/#:~:text=2021-22 NFC Championship Odds 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers,10 Washington Football Team %2B1800 More items...

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Watson and Lance are getting paid pennys compared to Watson. Part of the allure of the QB trade up in a draft is the chance to have an elite QB on a rookie deal.
Wilson will be getting an extension that will be $40-45M soon enough. Dak, Mahomes, Rodgers, Watson. Those were all giant contracts in the span of a year. Teams are starting to pay out huge money and trade plenty of assets for QBs. 

 
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Ilov80s

Footballguy
Wilson will be getting an extension that will be $40-45M soon enough. Dak, Mahomes, Rodgers, Watson. Those were all giant contracts in the span of a year. Teams are starting to pay out hugs money and trade plenty of assets for QBs. 
Right but you get that Cleveland have up 3 1st round picks and dropped the bag. It’s the biggest single player investment ever made. I’m sure we will see Herbert and Burrow pass him by money wise but the Chargers and Bengals won’t have to give up 3 1st rounders to ink the deal. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Question: by “100% guaranteed”, is that also in the event of injury? Like, if he tears an ACL, does he get paid in full during a missed season? 

 

Buckna

RMT Beta Tester
We are at a point in time when every year there is going to be the next biggest contract in history. In the span of a year, we’ve seen three massive trades for QB (Watson, Wilson, and Lance).  The point being, the Watson trade and contract looks crazy now, but in three years it may look pretty normal. 
Indeed, how quickly people forget Mahomes just signed an unheard of 10 year, $450MM contract just 2 years ago.

 

Buckna

RMT Beta Tester
Only 140 guaranteed though. Plus they didn’t have to give up any picks to resign him. 
Only 140MM guaranteed at signing. His salaries and roster bonus guarantee for the following year each year he is on the roster (and dude is not going to get cut for a long time.) Dudes going to be getting 35MM a year in guaranteed roster bonuses starting next season, it’s a weird structure but it’s also tied to % of the salary cap that is also unheard of. They didn’t have to trade picks for him (other than what they gave up to draft him for) but just an example that QB salaries are inflating at crazy speed.

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Reeks of desperation.  Any self respecting organization also wouldn’t be OK with the optics either. 
we’ll never know but I’d guess that’s what (the full guarantee) caused Atlanta to “lose” out. 

 
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Anarchy99

Footballguy
There's been so many similar threads recently that I forget what was discussed where. What many people don't fully grasp and understand is how many first round picks don't turn into legit NFL players. Here are the Browns first round selections from the past 10 years:

2021 - T Greg Newsome (26)
2020 - T Jedrick Wills (10)
2019 - DB Greedy Williams (14)
2018 - QB Baker Mayfield (1)
2018 - DB Denzel Ward (4)
2017 - DE Myles Garrett (1)
2017 - DB Jabril Peppers (25)
2017 - TE David Njoku (29)
2016 - WR Corey Coleman (15)
2015 - DT Danny Shelton (12)
2015 - C Cameron Irving (19)
2014 - DB Justin Gilbert (8)
2014 - QB Johnny Manziel (22)
2013 - DE Barkevious Mingo (6)
2012 - RB Trent Richardson (3)
2012 - QB Brandon Weeden (22)
2021 - DT Phil Taylor (21)

WAYYYYY more misses than hits. Giving up three of those picks not named Garrett for Watson after the fact would be considered highway robbery. Remember the Browns haven't won much of anything for decades. IMO, no brainer to give up three #1's for Watson. Half the league should be willing to make trades like that with the QBs they have currently.

 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
There's been so many similar threads recently that I forget what was discussed where. What many people don't fully grasp and understand is how many first round picks don't turn into legit NFL players. Here are the Browns first round selections from the past 10 years:

2021 - T Greg Newsome (26)
2020 - T Jedrick Wills (10)
2019 - DB Greedy Williams (14)
2018 - QB Baker Mayfield (1)
2018 - DB Denzel Ward (4)
2017 - DE Myles Garrett (1)
2017 - DB Jabril Peppers (25)
2017 - TE David Njoku (29)
2016 - WR Corey Coleman (15)
2015 - DT Danny Shelton (12)
2015 - C Cameron Irving (19)
2014 - DB Justin Gilbert (8)
2014 - QB Johnny Manziel (22)
2013 - DE Barkevious Mingo (6)
2012 - RB Trent Richardson (3)
2012 - QB Brandon Weeden (22)
2021 - DT Phil Taylor (21)

WAYYYYY more misses than hits. Giving up three of those picks not named Garrett for Watson after the fact would be considered highway robbery. Remember the Browns haven't won much of anything for decades. IMO, no brainer to give up three #1's for Watson. Half the league should be willing to make trades like that with the QBs they have currently.
Yes and where would they be minus this trade? The same treadmill they have been on for years. Good but not good enough to win anything.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Only 140MM guaranteed at signing. His salaries and roster bonus guarantee for the following year each year he is on the roster (and dude is not going to get cut for a long time.) Dudes going to be getting 35MM a year in guaranteed roster bonuses starting next season, it’s a weird structure but it’s also tied to % of the salary cap that is also unheard of. They didn’t have to trade picks for him (other than what they gave up to draft him for) but just an example that QB salaries are inflating at crazy speed.
Isn't that how every contract works? The players get the money if they are still on the team? Sure we expect 15 more years of elite QB play from Mahomes but we never know for sure. Injuries, off the field stuff, etc. can happen and alter career trajectories. After 2025, Mahomes doesn't have any dead cap so it gives the team options if something unforeseen happens. The Browns don't have that option with Watson and it's not very difficult to imagine how Watson's career could go off the tracks since we are going through that right now with sexual assault allegations, demanding a trade, refusing to play for his team, 2 ACL tears, etc. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
There's been so many similar threads recently that I forget what was discussed where. What many people don't fully grasp and understand is how many first round picks don't turn into legit NFL players. Here are the Browns first round selections from the past 10 years:

2021 - T Greg Newsome (26)
2020 - T Jedrick Wills (10)
2019 - DB Greedy Williams (14)
2018 - QB Baker Mayfield (1)
2018 - DB Denzel Ward (4)
2017 - DE Myles Garrett (1)
2017 - DB Jabril Peppers (25)
2017 - TE David Njoku (29)
2016 - WR Corey Coleman (15)
2015 - DT Danny Shelton (12)
2015 - C Cameron Irving (19)
2014 - DB Justin Gilbert (8)
2014 - QB Johnny Manziel (22)
2013 - DE Barkevious Mingo (6)
2012 - RB Trent Richardson (3)
2012 - QB Brandon Weeden (22)
2021 - DT Phil Taylor (21)

WAYYYYY more misses than hits. Giving up three of those picks not named Garrett for Watson after the fact would be considered highway robbery. Remember the Browns haven't won much of anything for decades. IMO, no brainer to give up three #1's for Watson. Half the league should be willing to make trades like that with the QBs they have currently.
Of course but also Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Matt Stafford, Lamar Jackson, Joah Allen, Watt brothers, Bosa brothers, Myles Garret, Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, Micah Parsons, Trent Williams, Ryan Ramcyzk, Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Ronnie Staley, Tristan Wirfs, Laremy Tunsil, Justin Jefferson, Jamar Chase, Kyle Pitts, CeeDee Lamb, Mike Evans, Jaire Alexander, Jalen Ramsey, Marlon Humphrey, Stephon Gilmore all were 1st round picks. If you look at the premier positions and then look at the top players in the league, it is easy to see why 1st round picks are so important. Sure Cleveland has whiffed repeatedly on them and even the best teams miss. However, landing a Myles Garrett, Tristan Wirfs or Jaire Alexander and then getting to pay them far below their actual value is a really important part of most team builds (obviously the Rams have made a case for a different strategy). 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Yes and where would they be minus this trade? The same treadmill they have been on for years. Good but not good enough to win anything.
They may still be on that treadmill. We haven't seen anything yet. By the time Watson takes the field, it is possible he has hasn't played an NFL snap in 22 months. Plus his life has been torn apart with this scandal. There is certainly room for Watson to no longer be a truly elite QB. I totally get why Cleveland made the move and going all in at QB is certainly the right move in most cases. I would have thought this would have created a bit of a dip in Watson's value with all the risk around him, I am surprised his value has spiked. 

 
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Anarchy99

Footballguy
Of course but also Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Matt Stafford, Lamar Jackson, Joah Allen, Watt brothers, Bosa brothers, Myles Garret, Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, Micah Parsons, Trent Williams, Ryan Ramcyzk, Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Ronnie Staley, Tristan Wirfs, Laremy Tunsil, Justin Jefferson, Jamar Chase, Kyle Pitts, CeeDee Lamb, Mike Evans, Jaire Alexander, Jalen Ramsey, Marlon Humphrey, Stephon Gilmore all were 1st round picks. If you look at the premier positions and then look at the top players in the league, it is easy to see why 1st round picks are so important. Sure Cleveland has whiffed repeatedly on them and even the best teams miss. However, landing a Myles Garrett, Tristan Wirfs or Jaire Alexander and then getting to pay them far below their actual value is a really important part of most team builds (obviously the Rams have made a case for a different strategy). 
Sure, you listed some top players. But they from many years of drafts. If those guys came from 15 drafts, that’s out of 500 first round picks, with many of them early picks. I don’t believe any of the Browns picks they traded will be early picks. It’s easy to say what players could have been drafted after they became stars. Not so easy on draft day. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Sure, you listed some top players. But they from many years of drafts. If those guys came from 15 drafts, that’s out of 500 first round picks, with many of them early picks. I don’t believe any of the Browns picks they traded will be early picks. It’s easy to say what players could have been drafted after they became stars. Not so easy on draft day. 
Sure but there is a reason teams value those 1st round picks so much. The most valuable players in the league predominately come from the 1st round. 

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
I didn't say every great player is from the 1st round. There are the Bradys and Cameron Wakes who go from afterthoughts to elite. However, there is a strong correlation between the best players at the marquee positions of QB, OT, Edge and CB and draft capital. 
Trading three firsts for a HOF caliber QB not even in his prime is a gift. I don’t believe any of the picks will be in the Top 10-15. Those picks need to either turn into a HOF QB or a HOF position player and two All Pros. That’s the value of an elite QB. 

Look back at the recent drafts for any franchise and try to identify any team that was able to make those picks say in the 16-32 range. And that’s AFTER they were drafted and played for several years. I don’t any team has been able to do that well. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Trading three firsts for a HOF caliber QB not even in his prime is a gift. I don’t believe any of the picks will be in the Top 10-15. Those picks need to either turn into a HOF QB or a HOF position player and two All Pros. That’s the value of an elite QB.

Look back at the recent drafts for any franchise and try to identify any team that was able to make those picks say in the 16-32 range. And that’s AFTER they were drafted and played for several years. I don’t any team has been able to do that well. 


I totally agree a prime aged elite QB is worth the 3 draft picks. If this move was made for Herbert or Allen, I would be cheering on the genius team that made the Godfather offer. There are a lot more question marks here with Watson though: Hasn't played in a year, facing unknown suspension, PR nightmare, pending civil trial, demanded trade and refused to play for Houston, got a $90 million raise that totally reshaped the market for NFL QBs and even got them structure the deal so Watson doesn't get too penalized for a suspension. Oh and it is all guaranteed. It's by far the biggest commitment a team has ever made for a player. It's a massive risk. The reward is certainly there but this could also very easily blow up in their face. 

 
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BoltNlava

Footballguy
Let's see... He'd have to gossip with the neighbors, take the trash out on thursday nights, learn the new gate code, be able to host Halloween Nights  for kids (also be able to work a nacho cheese pumping dispenser), host a book club(with or without Debbie), and return mail to the Rock and Roll HOF that was mistakenly delivered to the stadium.

Plus:   Since entering the league, Mayfield ranks 11th in NFL in passing yards (14,125), 12th in passing touchdowns (92) and first in interceptions (56) among QBs (min 500 pass attempts)

So be better than that and lead them to at least one SB.  

 

Neil Beaufort Zod

Footballguy
What's interesting is that, as fans, we seem to have different expectations as to what makes the deal worth it. 

I'm not sure why they'd bother if a title isn't expected, or at the very least reaching that game. It's not just a huge contract. It's guaranteed money, it's three 1st rounders, and it's only five years. Then he'll get to decide (again) where he wants to go. Acknowledging that this year has a lot of variables (possible suspension and rust), that's a four-year window, and half of those years the team has no first-rounder. 

Mahomes was a rich deal, but it was for 12 years, it's not all guaranteed, and no picks were involved (obviously). Since the contract, he's led them to another Super Bowl appearance. And, with salary inflation, they can actually afford to keep him the entire 12 years. Unless he complains himself off the team at some point in the future, he could play the entire productive part of his career in one city. Like Aaron Rodgers, sans drama. 

Mayfield is the same age as Watson. They both have one playoff win. Can't he get better, too? If that contract could be worth it without reaching a Super Bowl, couldn't they achieve that with Baker Mayfield, while keeping all that money and picks, and not tying themselves to one guy for five seasons?

Of course Watson is better than Mayfield. I just think this is a lot to pay without concrete expectations. Maybe he'll draw in great free agents who will take less to play with him. But if I was GM, I'd need more than "be entertaining." Dallas is entertaining, and I don't think Jerry is happy.   

 
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Anarchy99

Footballguy
What's interesting is that, as fans, we seem to have different expectations as to what makes the deal worth it. 

I'm not sure why they'd bother if a title isn't expected, or at the very least reaching that game. It's not just a huge contract. It's guaranteed money, it's three 1st rounders, and it's only five years. Then he'll get to decide (again) where he wants to go. Acknowledging that this year has a lot of variables (possible suspension and rust), that's a four-year window, and half of those years the team has no first-rounder. 

Mahomes was a rich deal, but it was for 12 years, it's not all guaranteed, and no picks were involved (obviously). Since the contract, he's led them to another Super Bowl appearance. And, with salary inflation, they can actually afford to keep him the entire 12 years. Unless he complains himself off the team at some point in the future, he could play the entire productive part of his career in one city. Like Aaron Rodgers, sans drama. 

Mayfield is the same age as Watson. They both have one playoff win. Can't he get better, too? If that contract could be worth it without reaching a Super Bowl, couldn't they achieve that with Baker Mayfield, while keeping all that money and picks, and not tying themselves to one guy for five seasons?

Of course Watson is better than Mayfield. I just think this is a lot to pay without concrete expectations. Maybe he'll draw in great free agents who will take less to play with him. But if I was GM, I'd need more than "be entertaining." Dallas is entertaining, and I don't think Jerry is happy.   
Watson’s numbers so far >>>>>>>>> Baker’s numbers. Is 5 years a fair amount of time to determine what a QB will be? Cleveland has one playoff win since they added a team again 23 years ago. Not a lot of risk as they haven’t won much in a long time. 

 

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