Angry Browns Fans Jumping on Bills Bandwagon After Watson Trade

Deshaun Watson

Getty Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texan.

A controversial and shocking move for the Cleveland Browns could now help to grow the Buffalo Bills fanbase.

On Friday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had made his decision, waiving his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland. The move came as a shock to many, especially after Watson met with the Browns earlier in the week but seemed to move on. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that Watson had narrowed his choices down to the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, but he apparently changed his mind and picked the Browns.

The move didn’t sit well with many Cleveland fans. Watson sat out last season after demanding a trade and now faces 22 civil lawsuits from allegations of sexual misconduct. Watson will not face criminal charges after a Texas grand jury determined that there was not enough evidence to indict, but the lawsuits and potential for a suspension still looms over Watson.

For many angry Browns fans, it was enough to jump ship to their Lake Erie brethren.

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Browns Fans Lash Out

Not long after reports emerged that Watson had picked the Browns, many of the team’s fans took to Twitter to denounce the move and declare that they’re jumping on the Bills bandwagon instead. Some noted the similarity between the franchises and their fanbases, saying it would be an easy transition.

Welp, @Browns I’m not rooting for Deshaun Watson… which means I need to find a new team to root for! I’m feeling maybe the #billsmafia,” one person tweeted. “Buffalo gets lake effect snow, they have that chip on their shoulder grit I admire, & I rooted for them in the playoffs. Should I join?”

Some Bills fans welcomed Browns fans onto the bandwagon, encouraging them to root for Buffalo next season.

The Bills actually have a long history of welcoming Browns fans. In 1996, Bills owner Ralph Wilson set aside a block of 2,000 tickets for Browns fans and a group of a dozen former players to show appreciation for a fanbase that had just seen its beloved franchise ripped away and moved to Baltimore.

Watson Could Become Problem for the Bills

The Bills could be facing their own challenges with Watson’s decision to pick the Browns. The AFC has become increasingly stacked with top quarterbacks, especially with Russell Wilson going to the Denver Broncos, and the path to winning the conference looks more difficult than ever.

Watson still faces a league investigation for the misconduct allegations, however, and could be likely to lose some time to suspension. League spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement to that the trade did not change anything about the investigation and the possibility of punishment for Watson.

“Any transaction would have no effect on the NFL’s ongoing and comprehensive investigation of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson,’’ McCarthy said. “Nor would it affect his status under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy.

“If the league’s investigation determines that Watson violated the Personal Conduct Policy, discipline may be imposed pursuant to the policy and the CBA.”

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