Deshaun Watson’s bonus structure on par with other Browns

Browns Deshaun Watson (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Browns Deshaun Watson (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

You can understand why the contract Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns raised more than few eyebrows.

The  22 civil lawsuits filed against Watson could lead to an NFL suspension if he settles any of the cases, or loses in court. The Browns looked like they were doing Watson a huge favor by only making his base salary for 2022 $1 million, to go along with a $44 million signing bonus.

If suspended, Watson would only lose money from his base salary, so he’d stands to lose around $20,000 per game. That’s a lot less than if the league was subtracting from $44 million.

General manager Andrew Berry was pressed on how the contract was divided, and the exec responded by basically saying that’s how the Browns basically structure their deals.

A good example is the deal signed by Myles Garrett. His signing bonus will pay him $17.9 million this season,  while he’ll make around $1 million in base salary, according to Sportrac.

Deshaun Watson AND Browns benefit

The Browns still have $26.2 million in cap space after re-doing Watson’s deal, according to With the team still needing a defensive end, possibly Jadeveon Clowney, the more money the better.

Plus, there was a rumor about the team wanting cap space so that it could roll over into next season. Remember, Watson’s number goes up big time in 2023, so it makes sense for the team to clear as much room as possible.

Unloading Baker Mayfield’s $18 million contract would give the Browns more financial flexibility, but media rumblings right now suggest Cleveland may have to eat some of that money to even move Baker.

Considering how desperate teams get for quarterbacks, especially when injuries occur at training camp, it may be easier to trade him in August. Nothing left to say, except we’ll see.

Watson's first day in CLE went as bas as you can imagine. dark. Next

As for Watson, obviously the structuring of the deal greatly benefits the players, but it benefits the Browns as well.