CLEVELAND — In news that shocked the sports world on Friday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns acquired quarterback Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans.
Taking to Instagram on Friday, Watson -- who waived his no-trade clause to complete the deal -- celebrated the news with a photoshopped picture of himself in a Browns uniform.
"Cleveland, LETSSSS GOOOO!!" he wrote. "#DawgPound Ready To Work!"
The Browns' stunning acquisition of Watson comes one day after Cleveland was reportedly informed that it was out of the running for Watson, who had been meeting with suitors throughout the week. In addition to the Browns, the 2020 passing leader had met with the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers prior to choosing Cleveland on Friday.
In order to complete the deal, Cleveland sent the Texans three first-round picks (2022-2024), a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick in exchange for the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback and a 2024 fifth-round pick. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Watson will sign a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns, setting a new record for the most guaranteed money in an NFL contract.
Considered one of the NFL's most talented quarterbacks, the 26-year-old Watson sat out the entirety of the 2021 season after requesting a trade from Houston, while he was also being investigated for accusations of inappropriate behavior and sexual assault from 22 women. Last Friday, a grand jury announced that it would not indict Watson on criminal charges stemming from the allegations, although he still faces civil suits and potential punishment from the NFL.