Returning to the field in 2022 after nearly two full seasons away, things went about as expected for much-maligned Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
In his return after an 11-game suspension for sexual assault allegations, which also kept him off the field for the entire 2021 season as he waited for a trade from the Houston Texans, Watson largely struggled. He completed just 58.2 percent of his passes for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns as Cleveland went 3-3 with him under center and scored more than 14 points just twice.
That initial return on a player the Browns gave a $230 million guaranteed contract and traded three first-round picks for, taking a significant public relations hit in the process, wasn’t good enough.
Entering his second season with the Browns though, Watson is feeling like himself again and feels he’s “ahead of the game” compared to where he was previously last season.
Honestly, it’s night and day,” Watson told reporters Tuesday as the Browns returned to the facility for the start of Phase One offseason activities. “Last year, it was just a whirlwind, but it was a good learning lesson for myself and for me to be able to grow. Coming in this year, I’m ahead of the game from where I was previously.”