The Cleveland Curse: Why Deshaun Watson Is Another Browns Bust

Darren - September 21, 2023

The Cleveland Curse: Why Deshaun Watson Is Another Browns Bust

Darren - September 21, 2023

Larry Brown Sports

Stefanski’s Downfall

This could be a make or break season for Kevin Stefanski. It’s amazing how quickly fortunes change in football because he was once a Cleveland hero. Browns fans had massive hopes after an exciting 2020 that saw them make the playoffs. But they regressed over the next two seasons and missed out (via Heavy).


A third losing season could see Stefanski lose his job. Watson will have a massive part to play in this as one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the sport. Stefanski’s saving grace is that it may be difficult to replace him because the job is a poisoned chalice. Watson may not be the future of the franchise but he’s preventing them from reaching it.

The Ringer

Too Rusty

Watson’s final appearance for the Houston Texans was in Week 17 of the 2020 season. He sat for the next year because of a combination of reasons. First, he wanted a trade but the Texans didn’t agree. Then the sexual assault accusations came raining down and he missed almost two seasons of football.

Sky Sports

Most people thought that it wouldn’t be an issue because he wasn’t taking damage for that length of time. But they didn’t consider the long-term impact it would have on his form. Watson already appears to be past his prime because he’s so rusty and didn’t benefit from elite-level practice with his teammates (via The Ringer).

BVM Sport

Bad For Morale

Watson’s Cleveland teammates haven’t publically criticized them. They’ve made all of the usual banal comments about his talent and they’re lucky to have such an elite quarterback. However, some of them must have morals and it must be a struggle for them to share a locker room with him.


The QB’s antics can’t be good for morale and the longer he plays badly the worse it will get. We’ll see if any of them condemn his actions in the future but right now they’re staying quiet. However, most of them have mothers, sisters, or even daughters and won’t want him near them (via The Athletic).


The Burner Account

Things went from bad to worse for Watson because fans believed that they found his burner Twitter account. They served him a further dose of humiliation online because it was unbelievably embarrassing. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t hold back when they discussed it and publicly shamed him (via Barstool Sports).


The account, @Gainsvillesown, defended the quarterback who performed badly against the Steelers. It pointed the blame at his offensive line instead of taking responsibility. The typos and the similar tone suggest that it was Watson. We’re sure this went down like a lead balloon in the Cleveland locker room.

Houston Texans

Cold Shoulder

One of the worst moments of Watson’s short Cleveland career was during his return to Houston. He encountered Texans owner Cal McNair and his wife Hannah. However, Hannah gave Watson the cold shoulder and subtly burnt the quarterback. First, she blatantly turned her back on the controversial athlete as we can see below.

NY Post

Then cameras picked up her shoes because they included the logo of the Houston Area Women’s Center. This facility supports victims of sexual violence. Rival fans appreciated this because it’s very easy to hate Watson. Cleveland won the game but Watson didn’t have a great performance (via New York Post).


Cruel Calendar

There’s a strong chance that the Browns will experience a 1-4 start to their season. Fate means that they’ll play two games at home before traveling to Indianapolis in late October. But they’re hosting the Ravens and the Niners so it’s going to be tough to get positive results (via Pro Football Insider).


Suddenly Cleveland’s strength of schedule is a nightmare. Watson and his team will be under severe pressure because their season could be over in a blink. That’s not what the Browns’ front office expected when they threw money at the polarizing quarterback. Only time will tell if they can turn it around an it’s not looking great at this point.


Garbage Image

Forbes said that Watson is ‘untouchable’ for endorsements. But he also damages the Browns’ brand as a franchise because many people think that they sold their soul. To be fair, they’re not the only team that had an interest in the controversial star. Remember, Miami seriously considered replacing Tua Tagavailoa with Watson.

Cleveland Browns

In the end, Cleveland did what nobody else dared to do and burnt bridges with Baker Mayfield in the process. Now they appear to be the most immoral franchise in the NFL. That’s saying a lot because there’s plenty of competition. It’s impossible to support them as a neutral now (via The Guardian).


The Pick-Six

Watson set the Internet ablaze when he threw a pick-six on the Browns’ first play of their recent game against Pittsburgh. He attempted to pass to Harrison Bryant but the Steelers intercepted and returned it for an early score. Needless to say, social media loved this and there was a lot of schadenfreude after his mistake (via Fansided).


One fan tweeted: “Deshaun Watson pick-6 gotta be the most satisfying play in football as a fan right now.” Then another replied that the only thing better is a Watson sack. They saw many of those in the game too because the Steelers wrecked the Cleveland quarterback. It was a bad day at the office for the former Texans’ star.

NBC News

Nick Chubb’s Injury

Cleveland suffered a massive blow in 2023 when they lost Nick Chubb to a gruesome knee injury. This stripped Watson of one of his most prolific weapons and placed more pressure on his shoulders. Chubb is a four-time Pro Bowler and an extremely productive player for the Browns.


The running back already underwent knee reconstruction during his college days in Georgia. Medics expected him to miss the remainder of the season. Watson’s performance levels immediately declined without Chubb on the field. They moved quickly to re-sign Kareem Hunt but nobody can replace Chubb (via AP News).

San Diego Union-Tribune

Poor Discipline

Watson’s defenders will say that there’s time for him to turn things around in Cleveland. They’ll point at his lengthy time on the sidelines and that it’s too early to jump to conclusions. But there’s nothing positive to say about how he interacted with the officials against the Steelers in 2023.

The New Yorker

He shoved one official as he tried to confront the Steelers coaches and players. They could have ejected him from the game but opted not to punish him. However, they flagged him for unnecessary roughness as he grabbed two players’ facemasks during the game. Watson lacked discipline and this cost his team (via New York Post).

Fox News

The Mayfield Affair

Make no mistake, the Browns treated Baker Mayfield horrifically. There’s nothing wrong with a front office being ruthless and replacing a decent player because they think there’s a better option. That’s business and everybody knows that the NFL is an unforgiving place. But the Browns badly mishandled this situation.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

They kept Mayfield for too long and made it very difficult for him to find a trade because most teams had completed their business. They burnt the quarterback who led them back into the postseason because they wanted a sexual abuser. That’s a bad look for any franchise but they didn’t seem to care (via Sportskeeda).

Fox News

No Confidence

It’s not surprising that Watson doesn’t have any confidence at the moment. We’re not asking anybody to feel sorry for him because he created this situation for himself. Nobody told him to assault a bunch of women or to take a ridiculous contract in Cleveland. It’s also his fault that he’s not playing at his previous high level.

Fox News

But the longer that this continues, the more mistakes that he will make. It’s increasingly likely that he’ll have more meltdowns on the field and encounters with officials. The question is what will Cleveland do about it because he’s burning a hole in their salary cap (via Newark Advocate)?