Insider Sends Clear Message on Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s Future

Deshaun Watson

Getty Images Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

Jacoby Brissett has exceeded expectations through his first three starts with the Cleveland Browns but the brakes need to be pumped on the narrative that Deshaun Watson will not be inserted into the lineup once he returns.

Brissett has guided the Browns to a 2-1 start, which could very well be 3-0 if not for a late meltdown against the Jets in Week 2. The 29-year-old veteran is completing 66.3% of his passes and has a QB rating of 94.3. Brissett has thrown four touchdowns against one interception and has formed a solid relationship with No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper.

That being said, Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com does not consider it likely that Brissett will hang on to the starting role after Watson returns from an 11-game suspension. Here’s what Cabot had to say in her latest Q&A column:

“I’ve learned to never say never in this business, but the plan is definitely to start Deshaun Watson when he’s eligible to return against his former team in Houston on Dec. 4,” Cabot wrote. “If Brissett far exceeds expectations and is a major the reason the Browns are winning and in the hunt, I’m sure they’ll weigh all the pros and cons of handing the keys to Watson. If he can hand six victories over to Watson, they’ll have a decent chance to make the playoffs. But they took this enormous risk on Watson for a reason, and I believe it will be his team down the stretch.”


Browns QB Jacoby Brissett Poised Amid Questions


Jacoby Brissett Postgame Press Conference vs. Steelers | Cleveland BrownsJacoby Brissett addresses the media after the 29-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers #PostgameHome #PressConference2022-09-23T04:29:43Z

The Browns scooped up Brissett as a free agent shortly after making the move for Watson with the clear expectation that he would start some games. However, Brissett’s credentials as a starter were questioned for most of the preseason, with speculation swirling about the Browns making an additional QB move with Watson being handed an extended ban.

While Brissett is having success, he never worried about those who had questions about his viability as the starter. He’s only worried about doing right by the guys in the locker room.

“I am not in this to answer anybody’s questions,” Brissett told reporters after beating the Steelers on Thursday Night Football. “I am in here to play good football, play for my teammates and enjoy this moment. That is really what it is all about. I can look those guys in their faces and tell them I am giving them my best. That is what I look forward to.”

Brissett came to the Browns with a record of 14-23 as a starter, being placed in some difficult situations over his career. In six seasons, Brissett had put up 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.


Watson Able to Return to Facilities in October

Watson has been away from the team since the preseason came to a close, working out on his own as he prepares for a return. However, he’ll be allowed back at the Browns’ facilities beginning in Week 6. He can start practicing on November 14, three weeks before a Week 13 matchup against his old squad, the Houston Texans.

Watson missed all of last season amid allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions. When he does eventually get back on the field, it will be 700 days since his last NFL start.

In the move for Watson, the Browns sent first-round picks in 2022, 2023 and 2024; a third-round pick in 2022; and a fourth-round pick in 2024 to Houston. They also got a sixth-round pick back in return.

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