According to Ian Rapoport, the Browns have restructured QB Deshaun Watson‘s deal to create $36 million in cap space.
This move was expected for some time to give the Browns plenty of cap space to work with in free agency.
Watson was due a $46 million base salary in 2023, the majority of which was converted into a signing bonus and spread out over the remainder of his deal.
Watson, 27, was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Clemson by the Texans. He signed a four-year, $13.854 million rookie deal with the Texans that included a fifth-year option of around $17.3 million for the 2021 season.
The Texans later signed Watson to a four-year extension worth as much as $177 million heading into the 2020 season, paying him $39 million a year. However, Watson requested a trade after the season, then sat out the entire 2021 season while navigating over two dozen lawsuits for sexual misconduct. He was later suspended for 11 games.
He was traded to the Browns for significant draft compensation in 2022.
In 2022, Watson appeared in six games for the Browns and completed 58.2 percent of his passes for 1,102 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 175 yards and one touchdown.
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