Browns made the right call with Deshaun Watson

The Cleveland Browns faced a major decision at the quarterback position at the close of the 2021 regular season.

And while the final chapter is still far from being written, it appears from purely a football perspective that the team made the right call in acquiring Deshaun Watson.

Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry had several options on the table as he looked at the quarterback position heading into the offseason and as the season has played out it becomes clear he chose the best available option.

One option was to stay the course and bring Baker Mayfield back for another season.

Cleveland was already on the hook for Mayfield’s salary after picking up his fifth-year option, so it was tempting to keep him around.

But Mayfield was facing surgery on his non-throwing shoulder and you never know how a player will respond to an injury, especially in their first year after surgery.

His mechanics (and possibly his confidence) were as broken as his shoulder.

He was also vehemently hated by a portion of the fanbase in a way that is rarely seen in these parts.

Combine all that and there was simply no way the Browns could have moved forward with Mayfield for a fifth season.

Mayfield was eventually traded to the Carolina Panthers but his play did not improve and he ultimately asked for his release.

He is now playing out the season with the Rams and while some of the joy has returned to his game, at this point it appears that Mayfield’s NFL career will likely be as a backup that bounces from team to team.

With Mayfield not a realistic option, Berry turned his attention to the trade market.

But in addition to Watson, there were some other big-name quarterbacks that were available and the Browns dodged a bullet on each of them.

The Atlanta Falcons were ready to move on from 14-year veteran Matt Ryan - why else would they be one of several teams actively pursuing Watson?

and once they missed ended up trading Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts.

Ryan has been bad with the Colts, throwing for 14 touchdowns against 13 interceptions, and has been benched twice.

The Colts will certainly release him after the season to save $17.2 million in cap space, but Ryan will still cost $18 million against Indianapolis’ salary cap in 2023.