Plenty of people in Cleveland, and around the world, were uneasy when the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson.
According to Peter King of NBC, that includes some NFL owners and executives.
His recent report from the NFL Annual Meeting outlines some displeasure toward Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam.
However, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the ownership duo are calling bogus on that report.
“Normal. Yeah, I mean, really good. I saw Peter King’s story, and there may be people that don’t want to say something to your face, but we’ve had great interactions with the owners like we always do. So we’ve noticed no difference”.
Business as Usual?
It’s not too hard to believe that conversations between the Haslam’s and fellow owners are going well at the NFL Annual Meeting.
It’s a low-key event that isn’t supposed to come with any sort of drama or absurd interaction.
Save that for the award shows. Important discussions are had regarding rule changes and things of that nature.
If one owner did have something extra to say to the Haslam’s regarding Watson, the NFL Annual Meeting isn’t the place to settle that score.
If something did occur, it’d be all over social media in a flash, which is the last thing the Browns organization wants right now.
The Haslam’s, above everyone else, understand that.
Jimmy is probably telling the truth in that quote in terms of his interactions not being any different with fellow owners.
However, is it that hard to think that other owners might be a tad upset with how the contract situation with Watson went down?
I don’t think so.
If there’s anyone they trust relaying those feelings to, it’s Peter King.
“Stinks to High Heaven”
“Stinks to high heaven” is what one team executive called Watson’s $80-million raise per King’s article.
King goes on to describe the “grumblings” that he heard from others over the weekend. We all know the reasons why, too.
Trading six draft picks and handing the richest guaranteed contract in league history to a guy with 22 active civil suits over alleged sexual assault is dicey, to put it softly.
Again, others would be a bit more provocative with their words.
According to King, many NFL owners were just that.
.@peter_king "The Haslams were so aggressive in trying to get @deshaunwatson ….I think there's a lot of people in the NFL just shaking their heads both with teams and in the league office." pic.twitter.com/AAYrpL6xT8
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) March 30, 2022
Dealing With It
As King mentions later in his report, the Haslam’s must know these types of comments are coming and will be around for a while.
That’s what happens when you make a move like the Watson deal.
Whether it’s right or wrong for other owners to jab the Haslam’s is irrelevant.
Owners don’t have to get along, but they do have to work together at some points.
One of those points is this week with the NFL Annual Meeting.
King believes the Haslam’s are losing some respect this week, while Jimmy and Dee claim they haven’t heard it.
“Yeah, I haven’t had anybody make comments positive or negative”, said Dee per Mary Kay Cabot’s article.
Having Deshaun Watson in Cleveland is exciting for many, but plenty of folks still don’t agree with the move.
That includes fans and owners/executives according to King.
If the latter is true, that’s even muddier waters for the Haslam’s to navigate moving forward.