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Deshaun Watson went through snow on his way to his first day of work with the Cleveland Browns Tuesday. Baker Mayfield was nowhere in sight.
Watson reported to Cleveland’s volunteer offseason program to restart his career with the Browns, who mortgaged their short-term future by acquiring the quarterback accused of sexual assault in a trade last month.
With temperatures in the 30s and falling snow in late spring, the former Houston Texans quarterback arrived at the team’s facility in Berea, Ohio. The Browns posted a photo on Twitter of Watson, wearing a sturdy winter jacket, before entering the building.
QB☝️ in the building pic.twitter.com/LSdmL3nJGE
– Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 19, 2022
One of the reasons the triple Pro Bowler and Georgia native, who played in Clemson, South Carolina, initially rejected the Browns in their hunt before he changed his mind was because of northeastern Ohio’s cold, wintry weather. Watson lost the one game he played in Cleveland with the Texans when howling winds made it nearly impossible to throw.
The move for Watson effectively ended quarterback Baker Mayfield’s four-year run with the Browns, who seek to swap the 2018 No. 1 overall pick but find a limited market, in part because of his $ 18.8 million contract for next season.
Mayfield was not on the team’s offseason program as he continues to retrain his surgically repaired left shoulder. Mayfield was injured in the Browns’ second game, and his games through an 8-9 season convinced the team to look for another quarterback.
The team’s hunt for Watson ranked Mayfield, who asked to be traded.
Last week, Mayfield said the team’s front office was not truthful to him in explaining his offseason plans. Mayfield said he felt “not respected” by the team and looked forward to reviving his career elsewhere.
Desperate to find an elite quarterback, Cleveland traded three first-round draft picks and three other picks to the Texans in March for Watson, who faces 22 civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior during massage therapy. sessions.
Watson could also face discipline from the NFL, which is investigating whether he violated the league’s personal behavior policy. It is possible that he will be suspended for part of the 2022 season.
The triple Pro Bowl quarterback has declared his innocence. Two major juries in Texas have refused to prosecute him for any criminal charges. Watson, however, is still dealing with the civil cases and has made outlays in recent weeks.
The Browns made their own background check on Watson, and owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam felt so confident in the research – and after a personal meeting with him – that they signed him to a fully guaranteed $ 230 million contract after he renounced his no-trade clause to get to Cleveland.