Skip to main content

Editor’s note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault and is seeking help, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org

During an appearance on the FULL SEND PODCAST, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was asked what his thoughts were on the situation with the Browns revolving around Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson. 

Cleveland traded for Watson to seemingly replace Mayfield in March, and in April, Mayfield said he felt “disrespected” by his team because he claimed the Browns lied to him about trading for Watson. 

“That’s a tough situation. He was hurt all last year,” Burrow said. “Every time we play him, he balls. First time we played him — Thursday night, Week 2 of my rookie year — we lost like 34–30, he balled. Then the next time we play him, I throw for 400 yards and he goes like 25-for-28 with five touchdowns, goes on a two-minute drive, touchdown, won the game.”

“I think when you have a guy like Deshaun, you gotta take a chance at that because he’s such a great player,” Burrow added. “But Baker will land on his feet.” 

In March, Browns general manager Andrew Berry told reporters he regretted how the trade took place. He informed Mayfield’s agent that Cleveland would be exploring other quarterback options while at the NFL combine, but he didn’t tell Mayfield’s agent that he was meeting with Watson on March 15 in Houston. Three days later, the organization traded for the former Texans quarterback.

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

Mayfield heard about the meeting before front office executives informed him, and before they returned to Cleveland after the meeting, Mayfield had already penned a letter to Browns fans thanking them for their support—seemingly saying goodbye to the city. Not soon after that, Mayfield requested a trade, and the day after the team officially traded for Watson and signed him to a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $230 million

The team has yet to find a trade partner for Mayfield and he could very well play quarterback for Cleveland this season because Watson could face a significant suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. 

Watson is facing 22 active civil lawsuits concerning sexual harassment and assault during massage therapy sessions. The lawsuits describe accounts that range from Watson refusing to cover his genitals to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.” 

He has denied all allegations against him, and two Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges. 

More Deshaun Watson Coverage: