The team put itself in the Watson sweepstakes as an attempt to replace current quarterback Baker Mayfield.
When Mayfield found out about this, he sent a message to Browns fans that still supported him.
With many uncertainties, here is where my head and heart is. pic.twitter.com/psipN96cmh
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) March 16, 2022
That puts the Browns in a bad position if they don’t acquire Watson in a trade.
The Browns seeking to replace Mayfield might come from his poor performance last season.
Mayfield’s Woes From 2021 Might End His Time In Cleveland
Mayfield had a horrible 2021.
He finished the season with a quarterback rating of 83.1, his second-worst next to his 2019 performance.
The quarterback would also have 3,010 passing yards and 17 touchdowns in 2021, both career lows.
Mayfield would also miss time due to injuries he suffered throughout the season.
While him coming back too soon and playing injured might have caused him to have poor performances, it won’t be looked at by the Browns that way.
Why is Cleveland giving up on Baker Mayfield already?
May I remind you that he played INJURED. He was physically and mentally disadvantaged after the injury, and he STILL wanted to put Cleveland on his back.
Have some respect.@bakermayfield
— Ryan Mathews (@RMathews27) March 16, 2022
That is why they were looking to Watson as a replacement.
The franchise is hungry for a championship title.
They feel they have a better chance with Watson over Mayfield to reach that goal.
What Can The Browns Do If They Lose Mayfield And Watson?
In a worst-case scenario, they don’t get Watson and Mayfield refuses to play on the final year of his contract.
The Browns could look to the draft but will have to wait as they have the 13th pick in the first round.
If they want to go the draft route, they could trade up for a Sam Howell or Kenny Pickett.
The Browns could also look to free agency for their next quarterback.
However, that market is very thin on solid starting quarterback talent.
The last option would be for the Browns to trade for a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo.
Could The Browns Trade Mayfield For Draft Capital?
The Browns have ten teams ahead of them in the 2022 draft.
The New York Jets and New York Giants have two picks each ahead of the Browns.
The Jets drafted a quarterback last year, and the Giants seem to be good with Daniel Jones.
That leaves eight other teams, with five wanting to acquire a quarterback, and the Texans being one of those teams.
Detroit could be willing to trade their second pick to the Browns for Mayfield.
The Browns would have to make this deal to get ahead of the Texans, who hold the third pick.
The second pick would guarantee that the Browns land top quarterback prospect Malik Willis.
Even though Detroit has a quarterback in Jared Goff, some have seen him only as a short-term quarterback for the team.
— Lions Talk With MicroMike by Chat Sports (@MicroMike85) January 1, 2022
Detroit made a quarterback trade last year, sending Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams while getting Goff and draft picks.
If the Browns want to draft Willis, the clear number one quarterback in the draft, they will need to deal with Detroit.
Otherwise, the Browns will have to work things out with Mayfield in hopes that he will play for the team in 2022.