After Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, the Cleveland Browns sit at 7-4 with a somewhat favorable schedule the rest of the way.
Of course, the road ahead would be better paved if the Browns had their starting quarterback.
Deshaun Watson has been with Cleveland for almost two full years, and the team has yet to receive a return on their large investment.
Since he arrived before the 2022 season, Watson has largely underperformed and uninspired.
This time last year, the quarterback was coming off his NFL-imposed suspension and preparing for his first game as a Brown.
Since then, he has played in 12 games and thrown the ball 341 times with 204 completions for 2,217 yards, 14 touchdowns, nine interceptions, an 81.7 quarterback rating, and has taken 37 sacks, according to NFL writer Brad Stainbrook on Twitter.
This week last year #Browns QB Deshaun Watson was preparing for his first start as a Cleveland Brown. Since then:
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) November 28, 2023
That’s not exactly what Cleveland was expecting after dishing out $230 million in fully guaranteed money.
Watson was expected to be a little rusty last season after not playing for almost two years.
However, this year should have been a return to form from his Houston Texan days.
Instead, he missed a number of weeks due to injury and then the rest of the season with a bum shoulder.
Excluding Watson’s short appearance against Indianapolis, he started in four games in 2023 and posted a 3-1 record with a quarterback rating of 44.2 with 1,115 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and four picks.
The Browns still have three years left of Watson’s contract, and time is running out for the quarterback to prove himself.
Cleveland fans (and Browns management) can only hope that he heals in time and is ready to play lights out in 2024.