Browns QB Deshaun Watson Makes First Public Appearance Since Trade

Deshaun Watson

Getty Quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Deshaun Watson may be on his way to the Cleveland Browns following a blockbuster trade over the weekend but the quarterback hasn’t left Houston behind just yet.

Watson was spotted leaving Texas Smoke Break Fest in Houston with his girlfriend, Jilly Anais, who performed at the music festival. Anais shared a post after the performance, saying it was an emotional experience.

“Yesterday was a world wind of emotions. From the show at the Toyota Center getting cancelled while at sound check, to being able to open up for 2 Chainz with an hour notice all I can say is I am so thankful my team and I were still able to perform what we spent months preparing for,” she wrote on Instagram. “I thank God that through the unimaginable we held it together and came out on top! I’m beyond thankful for my entire team, choreographer & all my dancers! This is only the beginning!”

Watson Was Expected in Cleveland on Monday

Public appearances have been rare for Watson over the last year, with the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback being hit with 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints by women alleging sexual assault and misconduct.

grand jury determined March 11 that it would not indict Waston on criminal charges, although he still has civil suits pending. What the NFL will do in terms of a suspension is also a wild card in the situation for Watson and the Browns. The team said they did “extensive” work on Watson’s situation before pulling the trigger on what might be the most significant move in franchise history.

“We have done extensive investigative, legal and reference work over the past several months to provide us with the appropriate information needed to make an informed decision about pursuing him and moving forward with him as our quarterback,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a prepared statement. “Deshaun has been among the very best at the position and he understands the work needed to re-establish himself on and off the field in Cleveland.”

Watson was expected in Cleveland on Monday for a physical but those plans were changed, pushing it to later in the week, per Josina Anderson.

Browns Having Trouble Trading Baker Mayfield

The quarterback landscape around the league has shifted significantly over the past few weeks, going from a seller’s market to a buyer’s one. With multiple holes being filled across the league, the Browns are suddenly finding it hard to trade Baker Mayfield.

The Seahawks and Panthers are two teams that have gained traction as destinations for Mayfield. The former first-round pick had eyed a move to Indianapolis but the Colts filled their quarterback need by trading for Falcons veteran Matt Ryan.

If the Browns want to get rid of Mayfield, they may have to attach a pick or eat some of his salary, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“The Browns had a conversation with a team about Baker [Mayfield] and the team asked for a pick from the Browns to take Mayfield’s contract,” Schefter said. “If anyone thinks they’re going to get a high premium pick for Baker Mayfield they’re mistaken.”

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