The Browns are paying a high price for Watson, sending the Texans three first-round picks with a third and fourth round for the 26-year-old. Cleveland will also salvage a fifth round from Houston with Watson, who had his best season of 2020, leading the league with 4,823 passing yards and 33 touchdowns.
Watson posted a photo on Instagram of himself wearing a Browns No. 4 jersey and flexing. He wrote, “Cleveland, LETSSSS GOOOO!! #DawgPound ready to work!”
Watson will join a talented Cleveland team that fell short last season and has been looking for a franchise quarterback for years. The three-time Pro Bowler became a target for the Browns after a grand jury declined to indict him over sexual misconduct allegations made by 22 women.
He still faces civil lawsuits from female massage therapists who accused him of assault and harassment. He also faces suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
The Browns’ public lawsuit against Watson angered the outgoing incumbent Mayfield Baker, who requested a trade. Cleveland turned down Mayfield’s request before learning that Watson had agreed to waive his no-trade clause and move to the AFC North.
Mayfield, 26, will likely be treated in the coming days.
Juju Smith-Schuster joins Kansas City
Kansas City Chiefs agree with former Steelers wide receiver Ju Ju Smith Schuster on a $10.75 million contract for next season pending a physical, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Smith-Schuster wasted no time in announcing the move himself, tweeting to Chiefs fans, “Let’s go!”
The Chiefs were looking for a high-level wide receiver to relieve the pressure Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. They tried several bargain options last season, including Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringlebut no one has been able to fill the role since Samy Watkins left for Baltimore after the 2020 season.
The 25-year-old Smith-Schuster, who caught 323 passes for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first five seasons in Pittsburgh, should fill the void nicely. And he comes on a relatively low-risk one-year deal after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5 last season that ultimately limited him to just 15 catches for 129 yards.
Smith-Schuster managed to return from injury in time for the playoff round at Kansas City in January. He caught five passes for 26 yards in a 42-21 loss to the Chiefs.
Davante Adams moves to official Vegas
The Las Vegas Raiders have finalized their trade for the All-Pro receiver Davante Adamsgiving the quarterback Derek Carr the best wide that the offense lacked.
The deal was completed Thursday, with the Raiders sending the Packers first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft for the game’s most productive receiver. The trade materialized when the Packers were unable to sign Adams to a long-term deal after using the franchise tag on him.
Adams will sign a five-year contract with the Raiders worth $141.25 million, making him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.
“It’s never easy to move on from a player and a person of the caliber of Davante Adams,” the Packers general manager said. Brian Gutekunst said in a statement. “We have so much respect for everything Davante gave on and off the court during his eight seasons at Green Bay because he was such an integral part of everything we achieved. He is without a doubt one of the greatest players in Packers history and we hope he will one day be enshrined in the Packers Hall of Fame.
Anheuser-Busch waives commanders
Anheuser-Busch, the official beer sponsor of the NFL and more than two dozen of its teams, has ended its partnership with the Washington Commanders, joining two small northern Virginia medical companies as sponsors for cut ties with the franchise over the past year. .
In a statement provided to The Washington Post by a company spokesperson, Anheuser-Busch said it has decided not to renew its Commanders sponsorship “at this time,” and declined to provide a reason for the split. .
Anheuser-Busch was one of the team’s largest sponsors with a prominent presence in FedEx Field. Through a team spokesperson, Commanders said they are still looking for a replacement liquor sponsor for the upcoming season and beyond.
Austin Hooper on his way to Tennessee
A person familiar with the deal says the Tennessee Titans have agreed terms on a one-year contract with the veteran tight end austin hooperin addition to the team’s announced deals with the veteran cornerback Skrine Buster and run back Jordan Wilkin.
Hooper was released by Cleveland on Thursday after failing to fulfill the four-year, $42 million contract he signed as a free agent two years ago with Cleveland. A third-round pick in 2016 at Stanford, Hooper won the Pro Bowl twice in four seasons with Atlanta. He caught 84 passes for 780 yards and seven touchdowns in 29 games with Cleveland over the past two seasons.
The Titans have been limited in what they’ve been able to do since free agency began on Wednesday with little available space under the salary cap. Seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones became the fifth player released on Thursday to create more space, but the latest move won’t provide cap space until June 1.
Hayward, Oliver headed to Atlanta high school
Atlanta bolstered its secondary by signing the former Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward to a two-year, $11 million contract and re-signing Isaiah Olivier to a one-year contract, and announced the signing of a running back Damien Williams on a one-year contract.
Hayward, 33, could join AJ Terrell as a starting cornerback for the Falcons. Hayward has 24 interceptions in 10 seasons with Green Bay, San Diego and the Raiders. He led the NFL with seven interceptions with the Chargers in 2016, his first of two straight seasons earning Pro Bowl honors, and had 46 tackles and one interception in 17 games with the Raiders in 2021.
Oliver, a second-round draft pick by Atlanta in 2018, started three of four games in 2021 before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury. He made 33 starts for the Falcons in four seasons. Williams, 29, had 1,209 yards with 11 touchdowns in 97 games, including 15 starts, with Miami, Kansas City and Chicago.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, signed a free agent Amir Abdullah on a one-year contract. He rushed for 1,574 yards with six touchdowns, averaging 3.8 yards per carry in 91 career games.
Ted Karras takes care of a Bengals official
Cincinnati has made it official with two players they hope will bolster their struggling offensive line, signing Alex Cappa from Tampa Bay and Ted Karra of the Patriots. In the deals announced Monday, the Bengals signed Karras to a three-year, $18 million pact and Cappa to a four-year, $40 million deal. Also on Friday, Cincinnati added the tight end from free agents Hayden Hurst with a one-year contract. . . Buffalo released the starting defensive tackle Lotulelei Star in a move that frees up much-needed salary cap space at a position the team spent restocking in free agency this week. The ninth-year player, who missed the 2020 season due to COVID-19 and only played 11 games in 2021, had two more seasons left on a five-year, $50 million contract he signed in free agency in 2018. Lotulelei was Buffalo’s principal. run-stuffer and had 40 starts in 43 games with the Bills. . . Seattle reunites with defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson after the most productive season of his career, agreeing to the terms of a two-year contract. Jefferson started all 17 games for the Raiders last season and set career highs for tackles (47), sacks (4½) and forced fumbles (two). The Seahawks also announced that they released defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Kerry Hyder Jr., a scheme-related decision as Seattle expects to play more of a 3-4 defense next season. . . San Francisco has reached a three-year deal with the security and special teams star Georges Odum worth $10.95 million. Odum has spent the past four seasons at Indianapolis. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2020 and is tied for the NFL lead in tackles over the past two seasons with 23. . Dallas Cowboys bring back linebacker Leighton Vander Esch with safety Malik Hooker and long snapper Jake McQuaide. Vander Esch, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, will play on a one-year deal worth up to $3 million after fifth-year option on first-round rookie deal of 2018 was not taken. . . Carolina agreed to terms of contracts with free agent defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis Washington and Jacksonville linebacker Damien Wilson. Ioannidis played six seasons for Washington and also played under the Panthers coach Matt Rhule at the Temple. . . Green Bay signed punter Pat O’Donnellwho has spent the past eight seasons with Chicago, as an apparent free agent replacement Corey Bojorquez . . . Chicago’s deal with a free agent defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was canceled due to a failed physical exam. The Bears initially agreed to pay him $40.5 million over three years.