“Deshaun is Deshaun,” Hopkins told Cleveland.com after the September 24 game before expanding on his statement. “He showed that today. … I’m not about to give no PSA, but Deshaun is Deshaun.”
Watson, who played with Hopkins on the Houston Texans from 2017 to 2019, had probably his best game as the starting quarterback of the Browns, showing off the upside that earned him a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract after he landed with Cleveland via trade in 2022. Watson completed a whopping 82% of his passes — which was the second best mark of his career — for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
Deshaun Watson Would Have ‘Loved’ DeAndre Hopkins to Sign With Browns
Hopkins was a free agent this offseason and Watson made a public pitch to his former pass-catcher to join him in Cleveland.
“Me and D-Hop, we just naturally talk. We’ve been talking since the Houston days, and whenever he was in Arizona, we were always talking,” Watson said. “He’s always been a brother of mine since I was coming out of high school. Our connection, our relationship has always been great. And I know there’s a lot of things swirling around in the media about him possibly coming to Cleveland. For me, my answer to that is, of course we’d love to have him.”
During their time in Houston, Hopkins caught 256 passes from Watson for 3,119 yards and 23 touchdowns. Ultimately, Hopkins chose to land with the Titans, who gave him a two-year, $26 million deal, worth up to $32 million with incentives. That number is likely much more than the Browns would have been willing to offer but Hopkins did not land in the best football situation, with the Titans struggling to string together consistent offense. He has 14 catches for 153 yards through three games and has yet to find the end zone.
New addition Elijah Moore has also chipped in, lining up all over the field. He has 15 catches for 128 yards and has also carried the ball six times.
Browns Clash With Ravens Ahead of Bye Week
The Browns will look to roll their momentum over to this week as they host the Baltimore Ravens — a team who has beaten them 11 times in their last 15 matchups dating back to 2015.
It’s the third divisional opponent for the Browns in four weeks for the Browns, who have a bye week to follow.
“I don’t think you approach it any differently. I mean, the hope is you leave every game with everything out there on the field, and the truth is these are one-game seasons,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “You pour everything you have into these games. So today is about putting a bow on this last one and making sure that we tie up anything – the loose ends and get a great workout and that type of thing. Then once we’re out the door, all the focus goes to Baltimore and putting everything we can into a game plan that we can have our guys go execute.”
The Browns are a 2.5-point favorite for the matchup.