CLEVELAND, Ohio (WCMH) — After multiple reports from NFL sources, the Cleveland Browns officially announced its acquisition of quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans in a trade.
The Browns receive Watson and a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft from the Texans.
Houston acquires from Cleveland three first-round draft picks (2022, 2023, 2024), a third-round pick (2023), and a fourth-round pick (2024).
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Friday that Watson would receive $184 million over the first four years of a new contract, a $48 million raise of his current deal, and that the entire deal will be guaranteed money — the largest in NFL history.
Watson is the subject of 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and harassment. A grand jury declined to indict him last week on sexual misconduct claims brought by 22 women.
The new Cleveland quarterback is a three-time Pro Bowler and led the NFL in passing yards in 2020 with the Texans.
Baker Mayfield, the Browns starting quarterback over the past four seasons, is seeking a trade away from the franchise.
Additionally, the Browns officially traded backup quarterback Case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills for a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft.
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski released a statement on the trade for Watson.
Our organization did a tremendous amount of background on Deshaun. We understand the concerns and questions that exist but are confident in the extensive work Andrew and his staff have done to feel confident about him joining our organization. It was important for us to meet with Deshaun in person as part of our team’s evaluation process, we had a candid conversation regarding his approach to coming into our organization and community. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to coach Deshaun, he is ready to put in the hard work needed to help our team improve and make a positive impact in our community.Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski