The AFC North has another franchise quarterback as the Cleveland Browns have traded for Deshaun Watson. A part of the deal is a five-year, $230 million contract, that is fully guaranteed.
Deshaun Watson gets a fully guaranteed 5 year $230M contract. That is $80M more than the previous record for fully guaranteed money at signing ($150M). This deal was negotiated by David Mulugheta of Athletes First. https://t.co/nQls9WRpD1— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2022
Sources: The #Browns and #Texans are in agreement on a trade for Deshaun Watson. It’s three first-round picks, a third-rounder and late-round pick swap, a fourth for a fifth.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2022
It’s done. He’s a member of the #Browns.
According to the reports, the Browns will be trading three first-round picks, a third-round pick, and a fifth-round selection to acquire Watson, in what is one of the largest trades in NFL history. It’s assumed they will attempt to recuperate a portion of said trade as they send quarterback Baker Mayfield elsewhere, but with little leverage, they’re unlikely to salvage much.
The implications for this impact multiple areas for the Ravens. For starters, the contract Watson received will now be a benchmark for Jackson to use as he looks for an ever-growing extension. As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport stated, this is a record-shattering contract in terms of guaranteed money. The previous record for guaranteed pay is $150 million. Watson’s deal obliterates the previous record by $80 million.
The other implication lies within the AFC North. It will no longer be a two-horse race for the division, as many assumed it would come down to the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. This addition instantly brings about serious competition with the Browns. Expect the sportsbooks to react accordingly in the coming days—or hours.