Sport

Browns’ Watson signs up for the offseason program, Mayfield is absent

CLEVELAND — Deshaun Watson walked through the snow on his way to his first day at the Browns. Baker Mayfield was nowhere to be seen.

Watson reported to Cleveland’s offseason program on Tuesday to restart his career with the Browns, who pledged their near-term future by acquiring the controversial quarterback, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, in a trade last month.

With late spring temperatures in the 30s and snowfall, the former Houston QB arrived at the team’s facility in Berea, Ohio. The Browns tweeted a photo of Watson wearing a thick winter jacket before entering the building.

One of the reasons the three-time Pro Bowler and Georgia native, who played for Clemson in South Carolina, initially dismissed the Browns in their pursuit before changing his mind was the cold, wintry weather of northeast Ohio.

Watson lost the one game he played with the Texans in Cleveland as howling winds made it nearly impossible to pitch.

Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield
Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield
AP (2)

It will take him months to acclimate.

The Browns convinced Watson to join him, then traded three first-round draft picks and six total selections to Houston in March for the 26-year-old, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging him for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions .

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski is scheduled to meet with reporters on Wednesday. Watson is not expected to take a reporter’s questions.

Watson also faces disciplinary action from the NFL, which is investigating whether he violated the league’s conduct policy. It is possible that he will be suspended for part of the 2022 season.

The three-time Pro Bowl QB has pleaded innocent. Two Texas grand juries have declined to indict him on criminal charges. However, Watson is still dealing with the civil lawsuits and has been giving testimony in recent weeks.

The Browns conducted their own background check on Watson, and owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam felt so confident in the research – and after meeting Watson in person – that they signed him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract after he was released on his No-trade clause had come to Cleveland.

The move for Watson effectively ended Mayfield’s four-year run with the Browns, who want to trade the former No. 1 overall but find a limited market, in part due to his $18.8 million contract for next season.

Mayfield did not participate in the team’s offseason program as he continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left shoulder. Mayfield was injured in the Browns’ second game and his struggles during an 8-9 season convinced the team to look for another quarterback.

The team’s pursuit of Watson angered Mayfield, who asked for a trade.

Last week, Mayfield said the team’s front office wasn’t honest with him when explaining their plans for the offseason. Mayfield said he feels “disrespected” by the team and looks forward to rekindling his career elsewhere.

At this time, this location is unknown.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/20/browns-watson-reports-for-offseason-program-mayfield-absent/ Browns’ Watson signs up for the offseason program, Mayfield is absent

JOE HERNANDEZ

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