Sports

Watson at Browns program, Mayfield stays away

Deshaun Watson reported Tuesday for his first voluntary offseason program with the Cleveland Browns, who mortgaged their future in acquiring the quarterback in a trade.

With snow falling, Watson arrived at the team’s facility in Berea, Ohio, on Tuesday. The Browns posted a photo on Twitter of Watson wearing a heavy winter jacket before he entered the building.

One of the reasons Watson initially rebuffed the Browns was because of the cold weather.

The move for Watson in effect ended quarterback Baker Mayfield‘s four-run year run with the Browns, who are looking to trade the former No. 1 overall pick but are finding a limited market, partly due to his $18.8 million contract for next season.

Mayfield was not spotted at the team’s Berea facility Tuesday morning, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Mayfield is not expected to be at the team’s offseason program. He is rehabbing his surgically repaired left shoulder.

Desperate to find an elite quarterback, Cleveland traded three first-round draft picks and three other selections to the Houston Texans in March for Watson, who faces 22 civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior during massage therapy sessions.

Watson also may face discipline from the NFL, which is investigating whether he violated the league’s personal-conduct policy.

The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback has professed his innocence. Two grand juries in Texas have declined to indict him on any criminal charges. However, Watson is still dealing with the civil cases and has been giving depositions in recent weeks.

The Browns did their own background check on Watson, and owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam felt so confident in the research — and after personally meeting with him — that they signed him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract after he waived his no-trade clause to come to Cleveland.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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