Browns tried to negotiate for Russell Wilson before Watson

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Deshaun Watson sexual misconduct saga continues to hang over the Cleveland Browns like a tenacious rain cloud, and it has become a wedge that has split the team’s fan base in half.

Some firmly believe the dozens of allegations are nothing more than a witch hunt motivated by financial gain, while many others are disgusted that the Browns traded for him and gave him a huge contract extension. , citing the image she is supposed to have sent to the community.

However, it appears Watson wasn’t Cleveland’s first choice.

There was more than one top quarterback on the market this offseason, and the Browns would have made a run against another, former Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson.

Wilson, of course, is a nine-time Pro Bowler who led the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and a World Championship.

Like Watson, he’s also a threat to move chains and even score touchdowns with his legs.

Wilson, at least from a PR and optical perspective, would have been a much better QB to land than Watson.

However, the downside would have been the fact that Wilson is 33, compared to Watson, who will be 27 at the start of this season.

Given Wilson’s ability to run the football, he may have fitted well into head coach Kevin Stefanski’s offensive scheme at Cleveland, and his playoff and league experience would have brought the team a dynamic that he had been missing for a very long time.

However, it’s all under the bridge at this point, as Wilson is now a member of the Denver Broncos and, in the minds of many, will turn them into a Super Bowl contender.

The Browns’ attempt to nab Wilson this spring is just the start

For the past few years, Browns fans have struggled to love Baker Mayfield, but ultimately felt more frustration than joy with him under center.

Mayfield did a good job in 2020 leading the team to its first playoff victory since the 1994 season, but his critical time errors, combined with his mercurial nature, were too much to handle.

According to Dov Kleiman, the Browns could have acquired Wilson in 2018 in exchange for the draft pick they used on Mayfield, but they said no thanks.

Instead of having the talented but inconsistent Mayfield in charge, Cleveland could have had the stable, dependable, and experienced Wilson, along with the young, talented group manager that Andrew Berry put in place during that time.

In this scenario, there would have been no need to trade for Watson, which would have meant no outcry from fans or women’s rights advocates throughout northeast Ohio.

Although Wilson is of age, he hasn’t seen much slippage in his production.

His 3,113 passing yards in 2021 was a career low, but it was also the first time in his career that he missed a game.

He still managed to post an outstanding passer rating of 103.1, despite playing on a sub-0.500 team for the first time in his NFL career.

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