The NFL preseason has just begun, and the Cleveland Browns have managed to create a lot of buzz around their organization. Both because of the suspension of their star quarterback Deshaun Watson and the statements made by former player Baker Mayfield, they’ve managed to keep the media’s eye on them.
The Browns odds for this season aren’t bad at all, but so much attention and hype around them have made the team a hotbed of controversy that even the team’s entrance to the field in Cleveland was barely greeted with faint applause amidst the uncertainty.
Deshaun Watson Suspended for Six Preseason Games
A few days ago, Judge Sue L. Robinson issued her verdict indicating that quarterback Deshaun Watson would be suspended for the first six games of the preseason. This verdict resulted from 24 lawsuits filed by therapy massage therapists, accusing him of harassment and sexual misconduct.
Although the player’s legal team claimed to have reached out-of-court settlements with 20 of the 24 women involved, the case continued to be driven by those four lawsuits, concluding that the player had violated the NFL’s code of conduct.
However, the situation didn’t end there. Later in the week, it was discovered that the team had the opportunity to file an appeal to the case but decided to stay out of it to get Deshaun out of the media’s eye.
This decision by the team didn’t come without consequences for Watson. Given that the player’s pay contract for this season is one million dollars, missing six games will cost him $345,000.
The amount may be pretty high, but the move doesn’t seem to be financially bad for the player. Deshaun’s contract for next season has a payout of 46 million dollars until 2027 when he’ll be a free agent again.
Baker Mayfield Turns Down Browns Jersey
In addition to the situation with their current quarterback Deshaun Watson, the athletic relationship with their former player Baker Mayfield has reached a rather uncomfortable saga where he seems to have started to hate his former team.
The Browns had taken Mayfield as their first pick for the 2018 draft. However, when Mayfield began regressing, they decided to replace him with Deshaun Watson, indifferent to the player’s backlog of demands.
This situation seems to have created a great dissatisfaction between Mayfield and the Browns, which is something that hasn’t remained in the past even though the player has changed teams to Carolina Panthers.
The truth is that the discomfort and annoyance have reached the point that Mayfield rejected a jersey worn by one of his fans with the Browns logo. This occurred while he was arriving at a practice in Spartanburg, S.C., and immediately noticed a fan wearing the article of clothing.
Upon seeing the jersey, his words to the fan were blunt: “Get that jersey out of here.” Although it seems to have been said in a joking tone, many of the player’s fans understand his position after the mistreatment he received from the organization.
Opinions in the Networks Divided Amid So Many Controversies
On the internet, both cases have been taken in very different ways, making the whole situation of the Browns a trend. Both Browns fans and anti-Browns users have posted their opinions regarding both cases.
For Deshaun’s case, we can see several users considering that the punishment imposed on the player is relatively short, even indicating that the suspension should’ve been for a longer period of time. Although fans are defending the player, the general opinion seems to be negative.
On the other hand, the public seems to have taken the joke of Mayfield and the jersey very well, making the Twitter platform a hotbed of jokes, images, and user comments. In it, we can see several recordings of the player rejecting the jersey, accompanied by laughter and acceptance by the general public.
Finally, while the team’s situation is in a chaotic state, we must remember that the preseason is just beginning, so the situation may escalate with Deshaun’s absence or Mayfield’s rivalry. Only time will tell if his quality of play for the Cleveland Browns can silence the critics and put the rival fans right where they belong.