How much should the Cleveland Browns revamp the offense for Deshaun Watson?
The Cleveland Browns are looking to revamp their offense under Deshaun Watson, but how much is too much?
The Cleveland Browns are going for broke with Deshaun Watson in 2023. The inconsistent former All-Pro had a bad year in 2022, coupled with numerous claims of sexual assault, lingering lawsuits, the threat of potential new allegations, and poor play and you can easily say that Watson was as far from good as anyone was.
Some believe Watson is washed up, a theory that does hold water considering what we’ve seen with guys like Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson. Players can fall off overnight, and considering Watson is playing on two surgically repaired knees, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes an athletic shell of himself. Time away can expedite that process and considering how slow Watson looked, that isn’t unfair to claim.
That said, as much as I don’t like the guy, I’m more in the camp that the offense isn’t very good, and with some better weapons he’ll look much better. The Browns seem to think that’s the case as well, as everyone is talking about the team revamping the offense heading into the 2023 season.
Now Albert Breer is talking about the Browns making a big swing this off-season. They don’t have a lot of money to do that, so some major changes would have to be made, but is one big swing really all the Browns are thinking about doing?
The Cleveland Browns need another receiver and a pass-catching running back
I’m not on board with the full revamping of the offense. I think if you add another No. 2 receiver to play alongside Amari Cooper, move Donovan Peoples-Jones into the slot, and bring in a pass-catching running back, then the Browns will be set.
Yet, this is likely the end of some guys’ tenures on the team, as the Browns move away from a run-focused offense to a more spread offense. Hopefully not too spread, because Watson did not play well in the elements. That’s going to be an issue for Watson, as he’s going to have to play in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore in the winter months and they’re all outdoor stadiums.
In outdoor venues, he completed just 61.5% of his passes, while he completed just 55% at home. He’ll likely play much better in Cleveland in August and September, but will he be as good in the winter? Probably not, though this isn’t uniquely a Watson issue, many quarterbacks struggle in the Cleveland elements.
This presents the biggest concern I have about this offseason, would the Browns really move Nick Chubb? If the team is looking to save money and go with a more spread offense, yeah, it makes sense to move Chubb. He’s not a great pass-catcher and he is a big-time earner that handcuffs the team’s abilities to make moves.
Plus trading him after June 1, 2023, would only give the Browns a marginal cap hit. I think trading him is a bad idea, but if the team is going big with their revamping, moving him makes sense, as sad as that may be to hear.
I don’t think he’d be the only person to go, either. I could see Jedrick Wills, maybe Joel Bitonio, and Harrison Bryant being dealt or cut as well. Same with Anthony Schwartz.
So, you know, not all bad.
How much the Browns intend on retooling the offense will be more clear after the season is over. The team will likely try and make some trades to bolster their draft this year, and we may find out some of the veterans that are deemed expendable or too expensive to keep well before April.