We're not even halfway through the week and things are already going wrong for the Cleveland Browns. The team announced on Wednesday morning that quarterback Deshaun Watson is out for the year due to a shoulder injury he suffered during the Week 10 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Unsurprisingly, Browns fans aren't entirely convinced that backup QBs P.J. Walker and Dorian Thompson-Robinson can lead the team to the playoffs. Unfortunately, with the trade deadline firmly in the rearview mirror, Cleveland doesn't have a ton of options for help.
With that in mind, general manager Andrew Berry might need to get creative — even if that means reaching out to unlikely candidates. After all, the possibility of a Super Bowl ring might be too alluring for even the biggest long shots to turn down.
Here are three dark horse that the Browns should target as potential Watson replacements.
Browns: 3 Dark Horse Deshaun Watson Replacements
1. Tom Brady
How about the greatest quarterback of all time?
Tom Brady's historic NFL career came to an end over the offseason following seven Super Bowl victories, three NFL MVP awards and a plethora of smashed records. But anyone who's followed TB12's career knows that nothing is ever certain with him, especially after already coming out of retirement last year.
Even if it's a long shot, Brady unretiring to join Cleveland makes sense. For starters, the Browns have one of the NFL's best offensive lines, meaning the 46-year-old would be well-protected. Their emphasis on the run game also means limited wear and tear on his body.
Secondly, it's not like Brady is washed up. He finished second in 2021 MVP voting with his second-ever 5,000-yard campaign and still looked solid last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading the NFL with 490 completions as he finished with over 4,600 passing yards, 25 TDs and 9 INTs.
Just as a reminder, the trio of Watson, Walker and Thompson-Robinson are only on pace for 15 passing TDs and 23 INTs this season.
Plus, leading Cleveland to its first-ever Super Bowl title would give Brady even more bragging rights over Bill Belichick, who failed to produce a ring during his five seasons (1991-95) as the Browns' head coach.