Franchise At Stake
Cleveland threw money at Watson because they wanted to win now. The AFC is a loaded conference with some of the best quarterbacks in the sport. They believed that they couldn’t contend with Baker Mayfield under center so they opted to draft the most polarizing replacement possible (via Sports Illustrated).
However, there’s immense pressure on Watson to succeed because the short-term future of the franchise is at stake. His fully guaranteed contract massively impacts their salary cap. This will make it very difficult to trade him if things don’t work out. Add in the fact that he’s already damaged goods and is a disaster waiting to happen.