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#pounditSaturday, September 23, 2023

NFL owners reportedly upset with 1 AFC team

The Cleveland Browns proved they are not concerned about the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson when they gave up several draft picks and signed him to a massive extension. That apparently did not sit well with the rest of the NFL.

Peter King of NBC Sports wrote in his weekly column on Monday that Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam were “not the most popular people” at the league meetings over the weekend. One NFL team executive said trading six draft picks for Watson and then giving him an $80 million raise — all guaranteed — is a move that “stinks to high heaven” for the league.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, several teams are likely unhappy with the structure of Watson’s contract. The Browns gave Watson a five-year, $230 million contract that is fully guaranteed. The NFL’s Management Council had previously urged teams to avoid guaranteeing so much money into future years. Now, star players may expect teams to hand out long-term, fully guaranteed contracts.

It should be noted that the Browns were not the only team that aggressively pursued Watson. Winning is all most NFL teams care about. Once a grand jury declined to indict Watson, several teams tried hard to acquire him.

The contract itself likely bothers teams more than anything. Watson claims it was not a factor in him choosing the Browns, but we already explained why that is an outrageous claim. Cleveland may have broken an unwritten NFL rule by recklessly changing the quarterback market.

Photo: Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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