The Pittsburgh Steelers already have to go up against a former league MVP (Lamar Jackson) and last year’s Super Bowl runner-up (Joe Burrow) at quarterback a combined four times a year. Now there’s a chance the Steelers will also have to face three-time Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson twice a year as well, as he is set to meet with the Cleveland Browns.
According to a report by Aaron Wilson, Watson is set to meet with the Browns on Tuesday. This will be the third team that Watson has met with, as he met with both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers on Monday.
It was reported yesterday by Houston Chronicle’s Texans insider John McClain that Watson rejected a deal to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans denied him the right to talk to their AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts. The same report said that Watson was focused on either the Saints or the Panthers.
That report was before the two meetings between Watson and the two teams on Monday. Which leads to the question of if the Watson had already planned to meet with the Browns or if he left those two meetings feeling unimpressed to the point of considering more options.
Regardless, Watson will meet with the Browns on Tuesday which means that they do have a serious shot at landing the league’s top available quarterback.
The asking price is steep in addition to the negative publicity that would likely come to the franchise that acquires a player currently being sued by 22 different women for sexual assault and harassment. The Texans are asking for three first round picks plus players or more draft picks in any deal for Watson. A trade for Watson to the Browns would likely include former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield who lost favor in the Dawg Pound after an injury riddled and subpar 2021 season.
Watson is rumored to be looking for a team best positioned for a Super Bowl. In that case, the talent on the Browns could be argued that they are better positioned then both the Saints and Panthers. While all three teams missed the playoffs last year, the Browns feature young stars on both sides of the ball such as Nick Chubb and Myles Garrett while the Saints still have to cut some players to fit under the salary cap and the Panthers have now had three consecutive five-win seasons.
That all being said, it’d be hard to imagine that Watson would prefer playing in the AFC North against three other teams expecting to compete for a playoff spot in 2022 as opposed to the AFC South whose only real threat is the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not to mention the amount of difficulty competing in a loaded AFC as compared to a weaker NFC.
Watson to the Browns is not the predicted outcome, most expect the Saints to land him, but it is a possible outcome. An outcome that would surely make an already difficult AFC North for the Steelers, even more so.