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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022

Browns have surprising backup if Deshaun Watson is suspended

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have to prepare for the possibility that Deshaun Watson will be suspended at some point during the 2022 season. Since they have yet to trade Baker Mayfield, some have speculated that the former first overall pick could step in if Watson is out. That apparently is not going to happen.

As part of her weekly mailbag, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland.com was asked about the possibility of Mayfield ever starting for the Browns again. She said that will not happen even if Watson is suspended and Mayfield is still on the roster. That job would belong to Jacoby Brissett. Should that scenario unfold and then Brissett suffers an injury, Cleveland would have to decide between Mayfield and Josh Dobbs.

Cabot does not believe the decision will have to be made. She anticipates that the Browns will trade Mayfield prior to the start of the season, even if they have been finding it difficult to do so.

Mayfield requested a trade before the Browns even landed Watson. He wanted out simply because they expressed interest in another quarterback. There is no way he wants to start for the team again.

As for Watson, the NFL has yet to announce any disciplinary action. The three-time Pro Bowler has avoided charges, but several women are suing him for alleged sexual assault. The Browns may have structured Watson’s contract in a way that protects him against a potential suspension.

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