The Cleveland Browns are set to begin Phase II of their offseason program next week. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson will not be joining them. That’s because he’s flying 16 of his offensive teammates to Puerto Rico for offseason training, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
Last season, he flew his teammates to Atlantis in the Bahamas. Watson paid for the whole trip for all of his teammates after signing his fully guaranteed, five-year deal worth $230 million.
Watson is heading into his first full season on the field with the Cleveland Browns this year. Last season, he was suspended 11-games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He’s got a number of new receivers to develop rapport with, including Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin. The Browns also brought in Jordan Akins this offseason, a favorite target of Watson’s during his time with the Houston Texans.
Certain rookies such as third round wide receiver Cedric Tillman of Tennessee will stay in Cleveland to get acclimated to the new team and offensive scheme. He was a key part of the Vols’ highly explosive aerial attack the past two seasons. Tillman battled through injuries his senior year at Tennessee but enjoyed a dominant junior campaign. He became the Vols’ first 1,000-yard receiver since Justin Hunter in 2012. As a junior, he hauled in 64 catches for 1,081 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches.
Deshaun Watson has been putting in plenty of extra work to improve team chemistry
The trip to Puerto Rico should help Watson and company develop much better chemistry heading into the 2023 campaign. He’s also hosted players in Houston for small throwing sessions. Watson is currently participating in the offseason program, which runs through June 6-8.
Watson struggled last season but eventually started to look better as he got more game experience under his belt. The chemistry clearly wasn’t clicking with his receivers. He looked rusty, which was to be expected after not playing for 700 days. In six games, Watson completed 58.2 percent of his passes (career low), threw for 1,102 passing yards, while tossing in seven touchdown passes with five interceptions.
Watson has already stated this offseason that it feels like “night and day” to have a year under his belt in Cleveland. The full offseason of workouts with his teammates should definitely help him return to Pro Bowl caliber form. He’s been doing everything possible to improve chemistry on the field and off-the-field.
There are still two civil suits pending against Watson of the 26 that were filed. 23 of those cases were settled and one of the cases was dropped. He is still awaiting a deposition in the 26th suit. That suit was filed after the 23 cases were settled in court.