Deshaun Watson doesn't look special after 2 games as a Cleveland Brown

The Cleveland Browns mortgaged their future for a player they weren’t sure would play for them in 2022.

Cleveland, in need of the kind of quarterback capable of changing the trajectory of its tragic franchise, traded three first round picks for Deshaun Watson,

a player then under investigation following more than 20 accusations of sexual misconduct and what the NFL would later describe as “predatory behavior.”

Once the Browns had him, they gave him the largest fully guaranteed contract in league history thanks to a five-year, $230 million extension.

Watson sat out the first 11 games of the season due to a league mandated suspension — he also gave up $5 million in fines to go along with approximately $600,000 in game checks.

This set him up for a return to Houston to face his former team in Week 13, then a state of Ohio showdown with the rival Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.

With a little luck, a revitalized Watson could lead his team back into playoff contention.

That is not what Deshaun Watson has done. In the small sample size of two games he’s been less valuable than the longtime backup he replaced in the lineup.

Expected points added (EPA) is an NFL stat that effectively assigns a point value to each play based on whether it increases or decreases a team’s chance of scoring.

In 11 games, Jacoby Brissett was responsible for 54.5 EPA for a 4-7 team. In two games, Watson is at -5.1.

He has yet to finish a Sunday with a positive EPA.

In two games, his offense has scored exactly one touchdown.

Watson’s arrival was supposed to serve as a beacon for a lost passing offense and present stability behind center.

Advanced stats love Brissett because he puts up solid numbers and,

because those stats don’t prioritize backbreaking turnovers like the ones the former starter was consistently responsible for in the final five minutes of game time.

Watson’s presence was supposed to bring composure to the lineup and win the 50/50 games Brissett could not.

But when Watson got the ball back in a 23-10 game with his team in desperate need of a score,

he entirely blanked safety Jessie Bates III and dug Cleveland’s hole even deeper.