Browns Rumors: Ludicrous Chubb replacement, obvious reunion, Deshaun Watson out?

  • Browns setting the table for an obvious reunion
  • Is there an out in the Deshaun Watson contract?
  • A truly absurd idea to replace Nick Chubb
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages
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Browns Rumors: Does Cleveland have an out for Deshaun Watson's contract?

If you're starting to think that the Browns might be wholly screwed with Deshaun Watson, you aren't alone.

When Cleveland traded for the much-maligned quarterback from the Houston Texans, they inked Watson to what has widely been reported as a fully guaranteed contract that runs through the end of the 2026 season. He's owed $46 million in base salary in each of the next two seasons. Most importantly, though, he hasn't looked remotely worth that money since his suspension ended at the end of last season.

After a poor 22-of-40, 235-yard performance with one touchdown and one interception in the loss to the Steelers, Watson is still under 400 yards passing for the season with a 2:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio after the first two weeks. And as mentioned, it might seem like the organization is stuck with him at quarterback because of the contract.

But is there a potential out that we might not be seeing?

The simple answer is, unfortunately, not really. For signing this contract and it going badly, the Browns will have to pay for their sins eventually. And there really isn't a feasible out for the club -- any out is going to carry a monstrous dead cap hit -- before the end of the 2025 season, as Jack Duffin of Orange and Brown Report noted breaking down the situation. They could potentially, depending on how they opt to use restructures in the next two offseasons, move on from him in 2026.

Duffin's ultimate conclusion, however, was that the Browns "best" option is to hope that Watson pulls it together before midseason. If he doesn't, then they could bench him for Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the rookie who created a ton of buzz in the offseason. After that, they could move on from Stefanski after this season and try to find a head coach to "salvage" Watson.

All told, there isn't a good option with Watson. It's something that, for better or worse, that Browns fans are going to have to ride out for a while. The hope is that there is far less "worse" than there has been to start his tenure in Cleveland.