Deshaun Watson’s suspension: What the Browns should do at QB for the first 6 games, plus Cleveland’s woes

Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled Monday that new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson should be suspended for the first six games of the 2022 NFL season. This offseason, Watson faced civil lawsuits from 24 different women who accused him of sexual assault or misconduct. The NFLPA announced in a statement Sunday night that it will not appeal the decision, but the NFL still may. This six-week suspension is not yet set in stone.

What will the Browns do at QB moving forward?

With Watson missing six (or more) games, what will the Browns do at quarterback? Cleveland currently has two quarterbacks on the roster who have been in the building for several months: Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs. It looks like it will be Brissett who starts in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers. He went 2-3 as a starter for the Miami Dolphins last season while Tua Tagore was out with an injury. There are certainly worse quarterbacks than Brissett. He has gone 14-23 as a starter in six NFL seasons, and last served as a full-time starter with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019, going 7-8.

Is it possible for Cleveland to add another quarterback? It was reported a few weeks ago that the Browns would sign a quarterback if Watson was suspended long-term. However, the Browns didn’t even wait for Watson’s official decision to add another signal caller, as they signed Former first-round pick Josh Rosen was drafted just a week ago.

It’s always possible the Browns could add another quarterback, but it seems unlikely at this point. reported that the Browns will take action if Watson is suspended for an “extended” period. The general consensus from reporters and fans alike is that a six-game suspension feels too light considering the accusations leveled against Watson by dozens of women.

Again, the six-game suspension isn’t cemented yet, but it doesn’t look like the Browns will add another quarterback. Brissett should be in line to start the first six weeks of the 2022 season.

Browns odds in 2022

Now that we have a little more clarity on the Browns’ 2022 season, let’s take a look at some odds. It’s unknown what Watson will look like once he hits the field, possibly in Week 7 vs. Baltimore Ravens, and it’s unknown for sure how Brissett will fare as a starter. However, the Browns have a formidable offensive line, a dynamic duo at running back and a solid wide receiving corps to rely on. The other side of the ball doesn’t look bad on paper either.

The Browns’ first six weeks of the season look like this: Panthers, Vs. Jets vs. Steelers, at Falcons, Vs. Chargers, vs. Patriots. The first thing that stands out about the start of the schedule is that four of the first six games of the season are at home, which is beneficial for Brissett. Additionally, Cleveland has only faced one divisional opponent through the first third of the season.

Most of these games are winnable. Taking on a healthy Baker Mayfield hellbent on getting revenge in Week 1 is a bit of a stretch, but the Jets, Steelers with a brand new quarterback and the Falcons can certainly win in Cleveland. If I had to predict the Browns’ record with Brissett under center, I’d say 3-3.

Now, let’s look at some future odds through Caesars Sportsbook.

Super Bowl LVII Champions


T-11th- Shortest odds

AFC Champions


T-6th- Shortest odds

AFC North Champions


3rd- Shortest odds

The question is, are these difficulties worth it? I am very suspicious of Watson and company. Lombardi will wave at the end of the season, so we can skip that prop. The Browns have also never been AFC champions, and it’s hard to believe they will be in 2022 when their starting quarterback has been out for a third of the season.

The AFC North is expected to be one of the best divisions in the NFL this year, with the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals and a healthy Lamar Jackson returning for the Ravens. However, if I were to consider placing a bet on the Browns, Cleveland would win the division at +250. We’ll have to find out if Jackson can stay healthy and succeed with what appears to be a Green wide receiving corps, if the Bengals’ 2021 campaign was just a flash in the pan and if the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger can achieve success without

If Brissett can steady the ship for six games and Watson can come in and find success, the Browns should contend for the division crown. But if we’re talking about going to the Super Bowl or winning the Super Bowl, you can’t convince me it’s going to happen for the Browns this season.