If there’s anyone on earth who ought to empathize with Deshaun Watson, it’s one other former Cleveland Browns quarterback who was introduced in to play savior to a squad cursed (or dedicated?) to self-destruct in ever extra artistic methods. Together with Watson, the Browns have had 36 — sure, 36 — males begin at their most essential place for the reason that staff’s 1999 reboot, and whereas most of them, to steal from Junior Soprano, by no means had the makings of an NFL starter, nearly each one in all them was additional crippled by the Browns’ legendary incompetence at constructing a complementary roster, hiring a head coach, or each.
Brady Quinn was No. 11 out of that 36, beginning a dozen video games for Cleveland in 2008 and 2009, the darkish days when Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini [Ed. note: Hi Jets fans, remember him?] have been in command of working the Browns aground on Lake Erie, so he ought to know somewhat bit concerning the place Watson now finds himself in. So that you’ll forgive the remainder of the soccer world’s, “Holy sh*t, not you fam,” response to Quinn going nuclear on Watson on social media this week, spawning a Twitter battle between himself and Watson’s private QB coach, Quincy Avery.
Yeah, that occurred. Should you’re lacking the subtext, Quinn takes situation with the truth that Watson has solely been on the sector sporadically the previous few weeks, the results of a shoulder harm he took in a Week 3 sport. He’ll miss his third contest of the yr this upcoming week. The Browns have but to ship him to IR, and at one level head coach Kevin Stefanski even instructed reporters that Watson determined he couldn’t play even after being medically cleaned for a sport. That’s when questions on his dedication to the staff he was introduced in to save lots of flared up.
Watson rightfully dismissed the speculation that he’s content material to take a seat again and acquire on his record-breaking, $230 million assured contract, which no person ought to doubt. Together with his first staff, the Houston Texans, Watson performed by means of harm and proved his toughness on the sector routinely. However whether or not he’ll in the end be what the Browns thought he can be after they threw cash at him like wealthy divorcees in a strip membership is one other query. Though he’s solely performed in 10 video games since turning into the Browns’ starter on the finish of final yr, his passer ranking up to now this season and final have been the worst of his career. Possibly that’s rust — in any case the person didn’t play on account of his notorious off-field troubles for 2 years. Or perhaps — and that is the terrifying half in the event you’re a Browns fan — that is his ceiling now, and the Browns are locked right into a contract they will’t maneuver round for 3 years after this season. Time will inform.
Both approach, who couldn’t have seen this coming? Particularly Quinn, who is aware of intimately how terrible the Browns have managed the quarterback place and the way traditionally artistic they’re at fouling up the one factor no NFL staff can afford to locate. If Quinn sees Watson as an ungrateful trust-fund child being handed issues — his contract, a beginning job — he doesn’t deserve, then Quinn additionally must level to the Browns because the irresponsible father or mother who created that brat. Once more: Watson had not performed soccer for 2 years earlier than the Browns beat again all rivals for his companies. No one knew how efficient he’d be when he returned to the sector, no person compelled the Browns to ensure him extra money than any participant earlier than him, and no person can blame Watson for signing on the dotted line to safe his future.
It’s Watson’s fault that the Browns have been so determined to maneuver on from Baker Mayfield that they have been prepared to anger different homeowners by providing him the form of assured contract that had beforehand been verboten within the NFL. You, me, or Brady Quinn, introduced with the identical circumstances, would have taken the cash and placed on an orange and brown jersey simply as rapidly.
Watson’s no sympathetic determine in all this. He was alleged to have sexually assaulted ladies — which he’s denied — and confronted civil lawsuits from a number of victims.
The Browns, nonetheless, apparently can’t determine whether or not he’s bodily nicely sufficient to play from week to week. Both approach, Cleveland knew what it was paying a mint for, and it wasn’t a quarterback with a clear sheet and an extended historical past of Tremendous Bowl competition on his resume. They have been OK with ponying up, so who am I — and who’s Brady Quinn — to complain now that they’re getting their cash’s price?