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Would the Browns trade Baker Mayfield for Deshaun Watson?

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With Deshaun Watson having demanded a commerce, many have debated the potential of the Cleveland Browns buying and selling Baker Mayfield for the star quarterback.

CLEVELAND — The second tweet that Baker Mayfield despatched following essentially the most profitable Cleveland Browns season in 26 years did not have something to do along with his crew’s 2020 marketing campaign or just lately ended run to the AFC divisional spherical. Moderately, it was a response to a column on suggesting that the Browns discover changing Mayfield with Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

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“A few of y’all ‘browns’ are humorous,” Mayfield posted, retweeting the article together with an “OK” emoji on Jan. 28 — 11 days after Cleveland’s season-ending loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the AFC divisional spherical.

Whereas Mayfield’s response was celebrated by many Browns followers, it additionally amplified the dialog relating to a hypothetical commerce, with ESPN’s “Get Up” and “First Take” debating the subject the next day.

How did this dialog begin and is there any precise benefit to it? Let’s have a look.

The origins

Watson’s reported commerce demand from the Texans despatched shockwaves by way of the NFL, as no quarterback of his caliber and at his age has ever made such a request. At simply 25-years-old, Watson has established himself as top-of-the-line quarterbacks in soccer, incomes three Professional Bowl choices in his first 4 seasons within the NFL.

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Contemplating the unprecedented nature of Watson’s commerce demand, the marketplace for the NFL’s 2020 passing chief figured to be huge. Lower than an hour earlier than kickoff between the Browns and Chiefs within the divisional spherical, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky posted a tweet stating that each one however six groups within the NFL ought to a minimum of inquire about what it might take to accumulate Watson.

Cleveland was not one of many six groups to make Orlovsky’s record.

The next week, comparable hypothesis — or a minimum of thought workouts on the topic — adopted. The Athletic revealed an article asking what would occur if the Texans known as the Browns a few potential Watson-for-Mayfield swap. ESPN’s Invoice Barnwell included a proposal from Cleveland in his rating of 17 potential commerce presents for Watson.

It is necessary to notice that Cleveland is hardly the one crew that has been speculated about relating to Watson and that a lot of the buzz has centered on different groups, just like the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. The Browns, nevertheless, are the one crew whose present quarterback has publicly responded to the noise, making it a pure subject for the morning debate reveals of the world at a time within the NFL calendar the place hypothesis guidelines all.

The controversy itself

The opposite motive why the Mayfield vs. Watson hypothetical has gained some steam? It is a pretty fascinating debate.

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After main Cleveland to its first playoff look since 2002 and first postseason victory because the 1994 season, Mayfield seems to have ended the Browns’ three-decade seek for a franchise quarterback. What’s extra, is that for the primary time since getting into the NFL in 2018, Mayfield will enter 2021 with the identical head coach he had the season earlier than and an offense that is set to return all 5 of its beginning offensive linemen and first playmakers.

Given the newfound continuity in Berea, it is not loopy to assume that the No. 1 choose of the 2018 NFL Draft could possibly be in line to make one other sizable leap in his fourth season within the league. So what’s to debate?

For as spectacular as Mayfield was in 2020, the fact stays that Watson is a much more established quarterback who’s really 5 months youthful than Mayfield is, regardless of having been within the NFL for one 12 months longer. Regardless of Houston’s lack of weapons and training instability — the Texans fired head coach Invoice O’Brien 4 video games into the 2020 season — Watson ranked sixth within the NFL in’s EPA+CPOE and fifth in Soccer Outsiders’ DVOA, with Mayfield rating 10th and 17th, respectively, in the identical classes.

Including one other layer to the dialogue is the fact {that a} straight Mayfield-for-Watson swap would not be sufficient for the Browns to accumulate Watson. As a substitute, Cleveland would possible should ship Houston a number of draft picks — together with maybe a number of first-round choices — which might restrict its means to proceed to construct round its new franchise quarterback as soon as buying him.

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As for a way lifelike such a transaction could be, we’ll get to that in a minute. But it surely’s not tough to see why the subject has turn into a sports activities speak radio host’s dream.

How lifelike is it?

For the entire power spent on debating the deserves of a Mayfield-for-Watson deal on sports activities speak radio, social media and even on this story alone, the very fact of the matter is, it merely is not a sensible situation.

In his projection of potential presents, ESPN’s Barnwell ranked the Browns’ hypothetical supply of Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., two first-round picks and a fourth-round choose 14th out of 17 presents. If a proposal that steep is not sufficient to accumulate Watson, it is exhausting to think about Cleveland conjuring a proposal that will.

Plus, the Browns entrance workplace and training workers appears to genuinely like Mayfield, who’s eligible to signal a long-term extension with Cleveland as quickly as this offseason. The likeliest consequence to all of this: Watson lands elsewhere, like Miami or New York, whereas Mayfield returns for his fourth season because the Browns’ beginning quarterback — with the one change in his standing more likely to be a brand new long-term contract.

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