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Why the Deshaun Watson Contract is the Riskiest in Sports History

Doug Gottlieb: “That’s the riskiest move in the history of sports. The Browns have traded for a quarterback who has torn his ACL twice, didn’t play last season, and he has 22 pending civil cases against him. I’m willing to believe that the Browns had to do an amount of due diligence so they felt confident that they’re not bringing a sexual predator into their locker room and into their city, I’m willing to believe that. Everyone I talked to in the NFL had ZERO questions about Deshaun Watson off the field before this came out. There weren’t alarm bells in college. There are two parts to it. Their desire to win supersedes anything else, including common sense. I get it if you want to give him a guaranteed contract, but I wouldn’t do it, not just because of the off-field behavior, but because he’s torn his ACL twice already, and it’s not like he’s a quarterback who gets rid of it quick and he’s a statue back there. He plays a style of football that is relatively reckless. It’s a little bit more like Ben Roethlisberger than Lamar Jackson in terms of how much he runs for first downs, but he holds that football and he takes a savage beating. I understand guys seem way more into Deshaun Watson than Baker Mayfield, but you cannot undersell the fact that we’re in a time of reckoning, and do I think it sometimes goes too far with the ‘#MeToo’ stuff, of course, but the reason it exists is because for years women’s voices when they were done wrong in the workplace were silenced. In our country, you’re innocent until proven guilty, and he’s not even going to be tried in the court of criminal law. It’s important to note that there’s going to be no criminal procedure heading forward, and everyone I know in law says it’s not that hard to charge someone with criminal behavior. It’s a little bit different because it’s so high profile, but most things can get through the grand jury if they pass the sniff test. But still, they gave him a completely guaranteed contract and it's basically Teflon from the NFL suspending him. Keep in mind, the last contract he got from the Houston Texans, he signed before he played 2 years ago, but he still had another year left on his rookie deal. He got paid three years upfront money, and never played a down on that contract. Then they gave him a new contract for FIVE YEARS! HE’S TORN HIS ACL TWO TIMES! He’s going to be suspended for a portion of time this season, and we don’t know how this will play out in the civil court, plus how it looks. I’m not one of these ‘he should never play again’, I believe in our system of innocent until proven guilty, but holy cow is that a risky move. This tells you three things. They think they’re close, they only want to win football games, and they couldn’t get rid of Baker Mayfield fast enough.” (Full Video Above)

Listen to Doug Gottlieb explain why he thinks Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed 5-year record-breaking contract with the Cleveland Browns is the ‘riskiest’ in sports history, as Doug details the three biggest reasons why the Browns would take on such a colossal PR liability during this day in age.

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