Browns get some bad news on their Deshaun Watson pursuit

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are no longer in the running to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

It is almost a certainty that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be traded to an NFC South team now, as the Cleveland Browns have been notified they are no longer in the running for him.

Cleveland was one of four teams to meet with the controversial starting quarterback this week, along with the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints. The Browns were a dark horse contender to get him anyway because they play in the same conference as Houston. While they had plenty of assets to trade to Houston, Watson is not going to Cleveland.

The other interesting wrinkle in this is what to do about Baker Mayfield. Oh, this is so awkward…

Deshaun Watson rumors: Cleveland Browns no longer in running for quarterback

While the Browns brass says they are committed to Mayfield, they need to move on from him after putting him through this. He sent out a heartfelt message to the city of Cleveland to thank them ahead of whatever could transpire. The following morning, it was reported that the Browns prefer to have “an adult” playing quarterback, a massive slight against their former No. 1 pick.

Mayfield is playing in a contract year after the Browns previously exercised his fifth-year option. Is he a starter in the league? Yes, but his deteriorating relationship with the Browns will not improve after this. They can trade him to teams like the Falcons, the Seattle Seahawks or the Indianapolis Colts. As far as quarterbacks who could replace Mayfield in Cleveland, they have plenty of options.

Matt Ryan of Atlanta makes sense, especially if the Falcons are the team Watson is going to. Cleveland could also deal for Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers or Gardner Minshew of the Philadelphia Eagles. Players like Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are still available in free agency. Of course, Cleveland could draft a guy like Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis or Matt Corral, too.

While Watson is not coming to Cleveland, that does not mean Mayfield is sticking around either.

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