Sport: Browns in limbo while QB Deshaun Watson's saga shifts again

Deshaun Watson gets muted reaction at Browns' open practice

  Deshaun Watson gets muted reaction at Browns' open practice BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson sprinted onto the field to a light round of cheers Saturday at the Cleveland Browns' first open practice of training camp. The noticeably muted reaction reflected the uncertainty surrounding Cleveland’s controversial new quarterback. Watson was the focal point as the Browns worked out in front of a near-capacity crowd at their suburban headquarters. He briefly waved while running to the middle of the practice fields, but did not speak with the media.

CLEVELAND (AP) — When owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam returned from Houston in March with Deshaun Watson under contract, the Browns' long search for a franchise quarterback — a fruitless 20-year odyssey — appeared to be over.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field after the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. The NFL is appealing a disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy, giving Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates authority to impose a stiffer penalty. (AP Photo/David Richard) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field after the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. The NFL is appealing a disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy, giving Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates authority to impose a stiffer penalty. (AP Photo/David Richard) Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Josh Rosen (19), Deshaun Watson (4) and Jacoby Brissett (7) walk on the field during the NFL football team's training camp Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Josh Rosen (19), Deshaun Watson (4) and Jacoby Brissett (7) walk on the field during the NFL football team's training camp Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Nothing's changed.

Attention on Watson and the Browns Nothing New in Cleveland

  Attention on Watson and the Browns Nothing New in Cleveland The team has dealt with a lot of unusual circumstances the last decade, but this one is obviously different. BEREA, Ohio—This Day 1 wasn’t unlike a lot of others in this corner of suburban Cleveland.There was the year the Browns had 28-year-old first-round quarterback Brandon Weeden. The year Johnny Manziel arrived. The year Baker Mayfield got here. The year Odell Beckham Jr. came on board. New coach after new coach. Lots of hopes that ended up dashed. And that’s just in the last decade alone.

Cleveland's in a muddle. Again.

The NFL's decision to appeal the six-game suspension for Watson handed down by independent arbiter Sue L. Robinson, who ruled he violated the league's personal conduct policy, has left the Browns in limbo and potentially considering other QB options for the 2022 season.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field after the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field after the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

An appeal hearing is next. There's also the possibility of a settlement or lawsuits followed by a prolonged court fight.

Only days ago, the Browns, who have started a league-high 32 quarterbacks since their 1999 expansion rebirth and traded former No. 1 overall pick and four-year starter Baker Mayfield to Carolina last month, were prepared to be minus Watson for less than half this season.

Watson Suspension: Last-Minute Settlement Talks, Next Steps

  Watson Suspension: Last-Minute Settlement Talks, Next Steps The NFL must now weigh several factors as the league decides whether to appeal a suspension lighter than it wanted. There’s a passage in Sue L. Robinson’s 15-page decision on Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson that cuts to the heart of how she felt the NFL wanted the disciplinary process to go. It’s one that can also illuminate where things go next.“The NFL may be a ‘forward-facing’ organization, but it is not necessarily a forward-looking one,” she wrote. “Just as the NFL responded to violent conduct after a public outcry, so it seems the NFL is responding to yet another public outcry about Mr.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field after the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. The NFL is appealing a disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend Watson for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The move gives Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates authority to impose a stiffer penalty. (AP Photo/David Richard) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field after the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. The NFL is appealing a disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend Watson for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The move gives Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates authority to impose a stiffer penalty. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Now, it's likely he'll be out much longer, and there's no telling when Watson will be on the field again.

With a talented, ready-to-win-now roster, the Browns were poised to contend for the AFC title with Watson. Without him, well, they won't.

Coach Kevin Stefanski has insisted backup Jacoby Brissett, who has made 37 starts as a pro and been something of a super sub during previous stops in New England, Indianapolis and Miami, would be the starter if Watson was suspended.

Deshaun Watson Ruling Calls Out NFL’s Past Inconsistencies

  Deshaun Watson Ruling Calls Out NFL’s Past Inconsistencies Suspension makes it clear: Arbitrator Sue L. Robinson is calling for the NFL to wake up and improve both its understanding and policies surrounding sexual harassment, assault and misconduct. Here are the lone, palatable silver linings amid the news that Deshaun Watson will be suspended only six games for dozens of instances of sexual harassment and misconduct: The decision written by former federal Judge Sue L.

However, that was before it became evident Watson's suspension will be lengthier. On Thursday, Commissioner Roger Goodell chose former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, with an extensive background dealing with league matters, to have final say on Watson's discipline.

While Brissett is a solid placeholder and could probably win some early games, especially with Cleveland's schedule front-loaded with softer opponents, he's not a full-season replacement for a team capable of making a deep playoff run, when the Browns would go up against some of the conference's elite QBs.

The clock is ticking for the Browns.

They can't afford to throw away a season with star defensive end Myles Garret and Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb in their primes, two-time All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin in his final year under contract and end Jadeveon Clowney only on a one-year deal.

They're in their winning window.

So, while Cleveland's players had Thursday off during their second week of training camp, some of the conversation within team's headquarters may certainly have included whether or not to make a move for another QB.

Browns reveal plan for Deshaun Watson

  Browns reveal plan for Deshaun Watson The Deshaun Watson saga has taken yet another turn, as we now know that the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will serve at least a six-game suspension after the court ruling from former federal judge Sue L. Robinson. Despite this, the Cleveland Browns have revealed their plan for Deshaun Watson as long as the NFL doesn’t Read more The post Browns reveal plan for Deshaun Watson appeared first on The Comeback: Today’s Top Sports Stories &Despite this, the Cleveland Browns have revealed their plan for Deshaun Watson as long as the NFL doesn’t win their appeal to potentially extend Watson’s suspension to become a year-long suspension.

The Browns recently signed veteran Josh Rosen to give them more depth along with Josh Dobbs, but neither of them seems ready to take over in the event Brissett went down and neither has been impressive so far in camp.

Jimmy Garoppolo's unfolding situation in San Francisco bears watching. With the 49ers committing to Trey Lance as their starter, Garoppolo, who has been previously tied to the Browns, could be an option.

It's unlikely the Browns would trade for Garoppolo, but general manager Andrew Berry might jump at the chance to sign him if San Francisco waives the 30-year-old to avoid paying him $24.2 million this season.

Garoppolo is a proven winner (33-14 as a starter), would be an upgrade over Brissett and could be a bridge to Watson's return.

This week marked the 10th anniversary of the Haslams agreeing to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner for $1.05 billion. It's been a dismal decade checkered with failure and almost constant turmoil and turnover.

They've hired five full-time coaches and five GMs. The Browns have gone just 52-108-1 and had one winning season in the Haslams' tenure. There was also the failed Johnny Manziel experiment, an 0-16 season and now the Watson saga.

It all looked so promising four months ago, when the Haslams met with Watson and convinced him Cleveland was where he belonged. They enticed him to waive his no-trade clause with a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract, a historic deal that didn't sit well with their NFL peers.

It was risky.

It doesn't seem prudent at the moment.

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