How the Browns came a long way to Deshaun Watson’s new home – The Athletic

Deshaun Watson’s only trip to Cleveland included a storm.

The Texans were in town to face the Browns in November 2020 on a day when kickoff was delayed 36 minutes due to a hail-producing thunderstorm. High, swirling winds wreaked havoc all afternoon and made pitching incredibly difficult in a game the Browns won 10-7. In a season where he led the league in passing, Watson threw for a minimum of 163 yards and later admitted the conditions were “really tough.”

That was Watson’s starting point with Cleveland as he listened to the team’s presentation last Tuesday. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry flew from Cleveland to Houston, while team owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam flew in from Florida. Together, the four entered the law offices of Rusty Hardin and Associates with the opportunity to dramatically alter the course of the franchise.

All information in this account is based on sources with direct knowledge of the meeting between the Browns and Watson. They were granted anonymity to speak freely about the details.

Of the four teams to meet Watson, the former Texans quarterback who missed the 2021 season while under investigation for sexual assault and sexual misconduct, the Browns have always been considered the longest. shot. Watson, 26, was born and raised in the South. He went to college down south. He played his NFL home games in a Southern dome. The other three teams scheduled to meet him were all located in the South.

Current Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had stopped communicating with the team.

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