NFL Rumors: Deshaun Watson Drawing Trade Interest From Cleveland Browns

Ernesto Cova

Over the past couple of decades, the Cleveland Browns have struggled mightily to find a starting quarterback.

From the Brandon Weedens and Colt McCoys, all the way to Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III, the Browns went through hell before finally committing to Baker Mayfield as their go-to guy.

Nonetheless, Mayfield’s lack of development over the years and how he’s failed to make the most of the weapons at his disposal has made plenty of people around the NFL wonder whether he’s got what it takes to be a starter in this league.

Browns Could Be In The Mix For Deshaun Watson

That’s why the Browns could be looking for an upgrade at the QB position in the offseason.

Notably, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated recently claimed that they could even be a dark horse to land Houston Texans’ star Deshaun Watson.

"I'd expect Browns to be a player. Are they going to be willing to go the distance? I don't know that, but I absolutely believe the Browns are going to be a player for Deshaun Watson if/when he becomes available. Let's call this an educated guess,” said Breer.

Austin Hooper Defends Baker Mayfield

But even if the media and some fans aren’t sold on Mayfield as their quarterback for the future, it seems like he has full support of his teammates, according to tight end Austin Hooper:

“Everyone in this building believes in him,’’ Hooper said, per Cleveland.com. “No matter where you stand with anything, anybody, you can’t ever question Bake’s toughness, and for him to have a week to just heal up alone is huge. We all believe in him. We have believed in him. We’ll continue to believe in him. He’s the leader of our football team, so, I mean, we’re ready to watch him be him.”

Dolphins, Panthers Also Want To Trade For Watson

But even if the Browns don’t make a move for him, it’s not like there will be a shortage of suitors for Watson’s services.

Both the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers have been quite interested in trading for him in the past, although it’s unlikely that the Clemson product waives his no-trade clause for Matt Rhule’s team:

"The Dolphins are the only team that Watson is known to have waived his no-trade clause for, according to sources,” reported Mike Reiss of ESPN. ”Watson has not done the same for the Carolina Panthers or any other team.”

Watson’s Future Is Still Up In The Air

Even so, nothing’s likely to happen until Watson’s legal situation gets clearer. Recently, his agent David Mulugheta claimed that they’re very confident in a positive outcome to this situation:

“We’re pretty confident how this thing plays out,” Mulugheta said, as quoted by The Spun. “He’s super confident in how it plays out. He’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He will be when he gets back on the field. He’ll continue to have an all-pro and phenomenal career moving forward.”

Then again, he’s still facing over 20 lawsuits and the NFL has yet to reach a conclusion about his potential punishment, so no one knows when he’ll be able to play or even if he’s ever allowed to be back.

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