Deshaun Watson’s contract shook up the entire NFL. The contract is unbelievably huge for a guy going through many scrutinies. The three-time Pro Bowler has 22 civil lawsuits against him and many are alleging sexual misconduct and assault. On March 11th, the grand jury declined to convict Watson on criminal charges. How much of an impact will Deshaun Watson’s contract have on other quarterbacks and the NFL?
Browns signed him to a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract. Did I say guaranteed? Let me repeat it: GUARANTEED contract. The rest of the NFL is looking at this situation like it’s unfair, or other young quarterbacks think they deserve that kind of money or more. Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti disagrees with the contract. Why? I could think of more than one reason: 1) Watson doesn’t deserve it because of the cases, and 2) Bisciotti knows that his star quarterback Lamar Jackson would be asking for that kind of money. Lamar Jackson is soon to be a free agent, and with Deshaun Watson’s massive contract, he could be going somewhere else to get that kind of money if the Baltimore Ravens don’t take care of him.
The NFL Draft is coming soon and the Ravens might take a chance in drafting another quarterback if things don’t go smooth with Lamar Jackson. The Ravens must be ready for the worst-case scenario. Unlike Watson, Jackson is a league MVP and arguably has a better career than Watson thus far. Denver Broncos’ new quarterback Russell Wilson is another quarterback that could ask for a very steep contract. Wilson won the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013. He’s established and has accomplished more than Deshawn Watson and Lamar Jackson. Broncos shouldn’t be surprised if Wilson asks for a Watson-caliber contract.
Although the contract might be significant for Deshaun Watson, it can cause some friction with other players on the roster. You have several players who are not getting paid as much. Therefore, the Browns organization and the coaching staff need to watch this situation and galvanize the troops. Make them understand that they are trying to make a deep run for the playoffs. I will also have to say this. Another problem with the contract is that it puts the fans further away from the NFL. People are growing tired of watching multimillionaire athletes act like children. The NFL is trying to put games on TV for fans, but the more you take the ability for fans to see a real game, the more you push them away. People get bored with TV and so much out there that it isn’t going to be hard to get them away. Most fans think throwing, catching and running with a football does NOT DESERVE to be paid 50-million dollars a year.
Baker Mayfield is in an explosive situation. We don’t know what’s going to happen with him. If I were Mayfield, I would probably go somewhere else to prove that I’m a winner and an elite quarterback. The Browns didn’t handle the situation well with Mayfield and how they treated him to the masses. Browns should release him so he can move on with his career. It’s clear that Deshaun Watson is the guy they want at the starting quarterback position and the contract solidifies it.