Browns QB Deshaun Watson Addresses Missed Games, Says ‘Special Things’ Coming

Deshaun Watson, Browns

Getty Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

More than two years into the Deshaun Watson era, the Cleveland Browns still don’t know what it’s like to have the quarterback play a full season — or even half of one, for that matter.

Watson has missed 11 games in each of his first two campaigns with the franchise. In 2022 that was due to a suspension from the NFL for violating its player code of conduct policy. Last year, it was due to a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery in November.

But the QB continues his rehabilitation in Los Angeles and recently began throwing for the first time since undergoing the aforementioned surgery in late 2023. He spoke publicly on Thursday, April 4 as to his hopes for the upcoming campaign, as the Browns try to earn a playoff spot for the second consecutive year.

“That’s the plan, is just being able to pull out a full season,” Watson told Camryn Justice of WEWS Cleveland. “The first year we had some stuff that we had to do with the NFL, and then last year an injury popped up that I [couldn’t] really control too much. But we get one full season, and it’s gonna be special things. I really believe that, the organization believes that, and that locker room believe it, too. We’re putting together a great contender.”

Watson’s comments came at the grand opening of Lefty’s Cheesesteak in University Heights, a restaurant in which Watson has invested, according to Justice.

Browns Add 2 Former Starting QBs Behind Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson has played in just 12 games since being traded to the Browns.

GettyQuarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

Watson was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Houston Texans before sitting out an entire season. His former team then traded him to Cleveland for three first-round picks, plus more, where Watson signed a five-year contract worth $230 million in fully guaranteed money.

He boasts a regular-season record of 8-4 across the games he has started for the Browns, though his statistics have not been stellar over that stretch. Watson has posted a 59.8% completion rate across his 12 starts, throwing for 2,217 yards, 14 TDs and 9 INTs, per Pro Football Reference.

The team has made clear that Watson is the starter heading into the 2024 campaign, though it has also been proactive in adding capable signal-callers behind him.

The Browns signed former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston to a $4 million contract, then added former Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowler Tyler Huntley on a one-year deal worth $1.3 million shortly after. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round rookie in 2023 who started three games for Cleveland last season, also remains on the roster.

All that is to say that if Watson struggles early, or gets hurt again, the Browns have set themselves up to make the type of potentially permanent switch the team would probably rather avoid, given how deeply it has invested in Watson from both a financial standpoint and in terms of draft capital over a multiyear stretch.

Browns QB Deshaun Watson ‘Passionate’ About Returning to Field

Deshaun Watson, Browns

GettyQuarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

Bucking any narrative to the contrary, Watson added Thursday that he is “passionate” about returning to an active status in 2024 and leading the Browns to a championship.

“I’m passionate about getting out there on the field and being a success so we can bring that championship back to Cleveland where it belongs,” Watson said, per Justice. “I’m gonna do whatever I need to on and off the field to be able to have that goal achieved.”

The Browns traded for wide receiver Jerry Jeudy this offseason to give Watson another talented playmaker alongside Amari Cooper in 2024.


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