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In a shocking turn of events, the Cleveland Browns’ persistent pursuit of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has finally paid off.
The 26-year-old signal-caller, who a grand jury recently declined to indict following a police investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment, will be heading to Cleveland next season after being traded from Houston in exchange for three first-round picks, a third-round pick and potentially a fifth-round pick, ESPN reported, citing sources.
NOT INDICTED, WHAT’S NEXT FOR DESHAUN WATSON?
Watson, who waived his no-trade clause in order for the deal to go through, reportedly turned down the Browns’ initial offer. According to the NFL Network, a source said Watson changed his mind Friday morning after believing Cleveland offered him the best chance to win.
The trade is not yet official but according to ESPN, the 5-year, $230 million deal is fully guaranteed, making it the NFL’s highest guarantee ever given to a player.
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News of the trade follows a whirlwind of events that saw quarterback Baker Mayfield request a trade which was ultimately turned down by the team after the Browns were reportedly informed that they were out of the race for Watson.
”It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on. The relationship is far too gone to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on,” Mayfield told ESPN Thursday.
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Mayfield gets his wish and will be traded out with one year left on his rookie contract.
Watson confirmed the news on social media with a post of him photoshopped wearing a Browns uniform.
“Cleveland, LETSSSS GOOOO!!” the caption read. “Ready to work!”