Familiar Weakness Named Browns' Biggest Concern Ahead of Training Camp

Deshaun Watson is being paid too much money to be on the sideline in Cleveland.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with head coach Kevin Stefanski during a workout, Wednesday, June 8, 2022 in Berea.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with head coach Kevin Stefanski during a workout, Wednesday, June 8, 2022 in Berea. / Phil Masturzo / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cleveland Browns stunned tons of NFL fans last season when they made the playoffs despite getting just six games out of QB Deshaun Watson. 

Ideally, Watson will play more games (and have better stats) this season, but quarterback remains an area of concern for Cleveland this season, according to The Athletic. 

“If this feels awkwardly familiar, it should,” writes Zac Jackson of The Athletic. “For the third straight offseason, the internal focus revolves around getting Watson ready to play at a consistently high level. This year, he is recovering from November shoulder surgery and might not be fully cleared by the start of camp. The Browns feel like they have a top-shelf roster and enough pieces to help Watson, but his ceiling is the team’s ceiling.”

Deshaun Watson Must Start Living up to His Salary

Watson was given a ridiculous five-year, $230 million contract when he came to Cleveland, and this year starts a three-year stretch in which he’s set to make $63 million per season.

Playing six games per season – as he’s done the past two seasons – isn’t going to cut it. Cleveland has done nothing other than put Watson in a position to succeed this season.

It lost minimal offensive talent and added some key pieces. 

Cleveland drafted offensive guard Zak Zinter out of Michigan (third round) and receiver Jamari Thrash out of Louisville (fifth round) while trading for Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy and signing running backs D’Onta Foreman and Nyheim Hines.

That’s also not to mention the addition of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, who helped Josh Allen ascend to stardom in Buffalo.

It’s not as if Watson was doing that poorly last year. He led the Browns to a 5-1 record with a 61.4 completion percentage, but his numbers were otherwise a little lackluster – averaging 222 yards and 1.4 TD passes per start (he threw just one pass against the Indianapolis Colts). 

That’s going to have to improve a little. 

Backup quarterback Jameis Winston is a fine secondary option in case of injury or struggle. But it would be a huge waste of capital if Watson isn’t under center for the majority of this season.

If Watson can recapture a bit of the magic he had in Houston, there’s no telling how far the Browns could go this season. 

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