Deshaun Watson trade grades: Texans get ‘A’ for historic haul while Browns land star QB

Deshaun Watson has a brand new residence within the NFL. After days of deliberation and assembly with a number of potential groups, the now-former Texans quarterback determined to waive his no-trade clause on Friday to affix the Cleveland Browns. Whereas any Watson commerce was going to be seismic, this choice was a very beautiful transfer because the Browns have been initially eradicated from competition on Thursday solely to be thrust again in on the midnight hour. 

After Watson introduced the place he wished to go, the Texans and Browns took it the remainder of the best way to finish the deal that is among the largest in league historical past. Houston despatched Watson and a 2024 fifth-round choose to the Browns in alternate for first-round picks in 2022, 2023, and 2024 together with a 2023 third-rounder and a 2024 fourth-round choice. Cleveland additionally inked Watson to a brand new five-year, $230 million deal that’s absolutely assured. 

Under, you may discover our grades for this blockbuster and see how each the Browns and Texans fared within the deal. 

Browns: B+


The Browns get a transparent improve at quarterback by slotting in Watson over Baker Mayfield, however this transfer does include dangers. Essentially the most rapid is Watson’s off-the-field points together with his excellent civil lawsuits by 22 completely different girls who allege sexual misconduct or assault. The NFL continues to be investigating Watson relating to this case and, whenever you have a look at how his new contract is structured, it seems like he’s bracing for some sort of suspension. Naturally, that’ll harm Cleveland’s possibilities to contend out of the gate in 2022 if Watson misses appreciable time. Second, the worth tag to amass him is appreciable. Whereas the Los Angeles Rams and their mint Lombardi Trophy are proof that draft picks can efficiently be thrown to the wayside in pursuit of a title, mortgaging the long run for practically a half-decade of first-round picks would require success rapidly. 

With all that mentioned, you possibly can’t deny Watson’s expertise. He is a deadly dual-threat quarterback that’s firmly in that elite tier with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and others within the AFC. At simply 26 years previous, the Browns have solved their quarterback scenario for the foreseeable future and now discover themselves as a legit menace to contend for what could be their first-ever Tremendous Bowl title. For a franchise as starved for a Lombardi because the Browns are, it should not come as a lot of a shock to see them push all their chips within the center for this generational on-field expertise. 

Texans: A

It might have taken a bit longer than anticipated when Watson initially requested a commerce after the 2020 season, however the Houston Texans landed on their toes fairly effectively. To get the haul of this magnitude for a participant that has as a lot off-the-field uncertainty as Watson does (at the same time as he will not face legal fees), it says simply as a lot about Nick Caserio’s prowess because it does the quarterback’s immense expertise. This was simply the second time in NFL historical past during which one crew traded three first-round picks (the Herschel Walker commerce). 

With Houston in a full rebuild, getting as many cracks as potential within the first spherical is important to turning the franchise round in comparatively quick order. Having so many firsts additionally provides them the flexibleness to maneuver freely across the draft board in the event that they determine a substitute for Watson sooner or later if 2021 third-rounder Davis Mills proves to not be the reply beneath heart.

In fact, the one manner this commerce is really transfer by the Texans is that if they really hit on nearly all of these picks, which we can’t know for about one other decade. Strictly regarding the haul of picks, nevertheless, you possibly can’t discover many returns like this in league historical past. 

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