Deshaun Watson Makes Final Decision on Joining Falcons: Report

Deshaun Watson

Getty Quarterback Deshaun Watson and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

Deshaun Watson is not coming home.

 

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Watson has decided to play for the Cleveland Browns in a “stunning change of events,” after initially ruling them out on Thursday, March 17.

Per sources close to Schefter, Watson has signed a guaranteed five-year, $230 million deal, which sets a new record for the highest guarantee given to any NFL player.

Soon after, Watson confined the report via his official Instagram:

“Cleveland, LETSSSS GOOOO!! #DawgPound Ready To Work!” Watson wrote under his post.

The Houston Texans will receive three first-round picks, a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick for sending Watson plus a fifth-round pick to Cleveland.

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Watson Did Not Play in 2021

Watson,26, first requested a trade out of Houston last year but ended up not playing at all amid 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints by women alleging sexual assault and misconduct.

A grand jury determined on Friday, March 11 that it would not indict Waston on criminal charges, however, he still has civil suits pending.

“I’m just going to keep fighting to rebuild my name and rebuild my appearance in the community, Watson said following the jury’s decision, via ESPN. “And on the legal side handle what we need to handle. But also ready to get on the field, and prep for that.”

Watson was originally taken 17th overall by the Texans in 2017. In the four seasons that he’s played so far, Watson has thrown for 14,539 yards and 104 touchdowns while completing 67.8 percent of his pass attempts.


Where Does that Leave the Falcons?

The Falcons could find themselves in a bind with longtime starting quarterback Matt Ryan.

Atlanta was pushing so hard for Watson that they had pushed back the $7.5 million roster bonus for Ryan due Friday, March 18 to Tuesday, March 22, giving the team four extra days to hear Watson’s final decision and be able to trade Ryan if necessary.

“Atlanta will turn their attention to making Matt Ryan feel wanted while he considers his options,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

That might be hard to do since Ryan was not warned about the Falcons’ strong pursuit for Watson.

Schefter had originally said in a tweet that Chris Mortensen told him “the Falcons informed QB Matt Ryan last weekend that they were pursuing Deshaun Watson. The lines of communication have been kept open between Ryan and the Falcons.”

However, Ryan’s sister-in-law, Maggie Marshall Ryan disputed the report with, “Then he reported wrong…”

Maggie is the sister of Ryan’s wife, Sarah Ryan, and happens to be married to Matt Ryan’s brother, Mike Ryan.

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