Browns’ Star Sends Strong Message on End of Baker Mayfield Era

Watson, Brissett, Browns

Getty Jacoby Brissett #7 and Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns laugh during Cleveland Browns training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on July 27, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns‘ pass catchers feel like they can breathe again, as excitement continues to grow for the offense’s potential this season under new quarterback Deshaun Watson.

On Saturday, tight end David Njoku was one of several Browns players to put his voice behind the change in “vibes” around the team as the regular season approaches. Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald and Morning Journal posted video of Njoku’s comments the following day, July 31.

“It’s very hard to explain,” Njoku said about the new atmosphere around the franchise’s facilities. “It’s a good feeling, you know? We’re gonna keep using that energy.”

Though the tight end’s feelings may be hard for him to explain, it is difficult for an outside observer not to read into them as a commentary on the biggest change the Browns have made from the end of last season to the start of training camp — the trading of quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers in favor of Watson.

“I’m excited,” Njoku responded to a question about catching passes from Watson. “I can’t wait.”

The latest Browns news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Browns newsletter here!

‘Vibes’ at Browns’ Camp Could be Trashed Monday By Watson Ruling

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

GettyQuarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns looks on during the team’s mandatory minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on June 14, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Njoku signed a massive contract extension this offseason worth approximately $55 million over the next four years and is set to serve as a primary weapon for Watson moving forward. How soon the two will be able to connect on the field remains up in the air, however, as Watson awaits a disciplinary ruling that could see him suspended for up to a full year.

The possible suspension for Watson, if it comes, will be based on alleged violations of the NFL’s player conduct policy. Those violations stem from 24 allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made against the quarterback in recent months.

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network was one of several reporters to publish breaking news on Sunday that Watson’s fate for the season will be officially decided within the next 24 hours, pending appeal.

“Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun [Watson’s] disciplinary ruling from Judge Sue L. Robinson, the jointly appointed disciplinary officer, is expected to be issued Monday, per league sources,” Wilson tweeted. “Robinson has not indicated how she will rule on her first personal conduct policy case.”

Wilson added in a later tweet that the decision is expected to be made public at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, August 1.

Watson and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released a joint statement on Sunday, July 31, one day ahead of the decision from Robinson. The following is that statement, per the Twitter account of Brad Stainbrook of The Orange and Brown Report.

In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding. First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation.

A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and the NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially. Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office.

This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.

The NFL reserves the right to appeal Robinson’s decision if she, in fact, issues a suspension and the league finds that punishment unacceptable for any reason. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, or an appointee designated by him, would hear such an appeal and issue a final ruling.

This stipulation to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league and the NFLPA means the NFL could either reduce or increase Robinson’s punishment for Watson. The league has no recourse, however, if Robinson decrees no suspension for Watson is warranted.

Browns Will Face Mayfield, Panthers in Week 1 of NFL Season

Baker Mayfield

Getty ImagesQuarterback Baker Mayfield of the Carolina Panthers.

Ironically, if Watson is not suspended, he will lead the vibing Browns’ squad up against Mayfield and the Panthers during the first game of the regular season, which scheduled for September 11 in Carolina.

The Browns No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper believes that the team will be ready, as he also had glowing words for his new quarterback early in camp. Cooper called Watson “the magician” adding that “he just makes plays,” per Camryn Justice of

However, Cooper also noted that he will do his best to make it easy for whoever is under center for the Browns come Week 1. If Watson is unable to play due to a suspension, Cleveland is expected to name backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett the opening-day starter.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x