Deshaun Watson contract with Browns resets the quarterback market

Deshaun Watson after Browns trade

The Deshaun Watson trade has rocked the NFL in many ways. After a grand jury in Texas decided against indicting Watson, the Browns won a bidding war to acquire the talented quarterback, and secured the deal with a fully-guaranteed contract for $230 million.

There was already plenty of controversy around any trade for Watson with 22 pending civil lawsuits, but the guaranteed money made the move even more controversial. NFL teams avoid large guarantees, and this contract blew away the guarantees given to other top quarterbacks. The fact that Watson, with all his legal troubles, was the recipient of this contract made it even worse for many. People will have different reactions to the Browns trading for someone saddled with these allegations, but the monetary award made it worse for many fans who felt that the Browns and the NFL were rewarding bad behavior.

But other NFL owners have also been complaining. They know that the Browns have turned the market upside down and that they will ultimately need to consider similar deals if they’re fortunate to land a top-tier quarterback. Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was vocal in his displeasure, not that the Browns or their fans give a damn what the owner of the Ravens thinks about this. The Ravens will have to pay Lamar Jackson, and Browns fans will be happy to see that franchise also saddled with a monster, guaranteed contract, as most Browns fans see Jackson as a more limited quarterback than Watson.

And that leads us to the real issue here. The game in the NFL has been changing as the rules make it easier and easier for elite quarterbacks to dominate the game. Sure, defenses can still make a difference, but a team’s chances of winning a Super Bowl are very low without one of the 8 – 10 elite quarterbacks in the game.

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Rams complete comeback win over Bengals in Super Bowl

Cooper Cupp TD in Super Bowl 2022

In an NFL postseason dominated by close games, the Super Bowl delivered another exciting finish as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals with a touchdown drive to take the lead at the end of the game. The Bengals had a chance to tie the game with a little over a minute left, but Aaron Donald got to Joe Burrow on fourth down at midfield to end any chance for the Bengals.

While the ending was exciting, both offenses struggled for long stretches in the game. The Bengals couldn’t protect Joe Borrow, and the Rams struggled behind a head-scratching game plan by Sean McVay. Many of us knew the Bengals would have trouble blocking the Rams front, but we didn’t expect McVay to continue calling running plays on first down when it was clear the Bengals were stopping the run. It’s one thing to have a game plan based on Cincinnati struggles against the run, but it’s quite another to continue running the ball on first down when the Bengals were obviously keying on the run.

Matthew Stafford was excellent on the final drive, and that’s exactly what you expect from a top-tier quarterback. His no-look pass to Cupp was nothing short of sensational. Cupp was amazing during the game, including a critical fourth down conversion on a WR sweep that kept the last drive alive. He certainly deserved the Super Bowl MVP trophy, though Donald would have been a worthy choice as well.

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Can Joe Burrow pull the upset in the Super Bowl?

Joe Burrow Super Bowl Media Day 2022

The answer of course is yes . . . Joe Borrow can pull this off. The question is what are the chances he can pull it off and would you be willing to bet real dollars he can pull this off.

As you can see from the screen shot above from the Super Bowl media day interviews, Burrow has certainly been adding to his “Joe Cool” image. He’s confident bordering on cocky, and he gives all the right visual with the shades and cool demeanor. He’s already proven that he one of the best, if not the best, young quarterback in the NFL, and he can certainly add to his legacy with a win today in the Super Bowl.

The kid is incredibly talented. But he’s up against a Los Angeles Rams team that matches up very well against his Cincinnati Bengals, so we might be looking at a Dan Marino scenario where a brilliant young quarterback gets stifled by a superior football team in the Super Bowl. Burrow fans would hope that if this transpires that Joe will have more shots at the title unlike Marino who suffered for years trying to get back to the big dance.

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How did the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes blow it?

Patrick Mahomes vs Bengals 2022 playoffs

What happened? The Kansas City Chiefs were on a roll and they had just stunned the Buffalo Bills the prior weekend in one of the most thrilling playoff finishes in memory. Patrick Mahomes was on a roll after an early season slump. He was taking what the defense gave him and letting his playmakers do the rest. The Chiefs seemed unstoppable and they were a touchdown favorite against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chiefs were in command of the game. They were up 21-3 at one point in the first half. The Bengals cut the lead to 28-3, but then Mahomes worked his magic at the end of the half to set up the Chiefs in the red zone, poised to at least get a field goal before the half. But they got cocky. Mahomes wanted to take another shot with 5 seconds left in the half, and Andy Reid let him do it. But Reid didn’t stress the obvious . . . take your shot but don’t let the clock run out. This play needed a quick read and immediate throw. If it wasn’t there then Mahomes needed to throw it out of bounds. But instead Mahomes threw a flair pass in the flat to Tyreek Hill, but the elusive Hill got tackled in the field of play. Time ran out, and the Chiefs squandered an easy three points.

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Packers and Rodgers choke again in playoffs

Aaron Rodgers loss to SF in 2022 playoffs

Despite being one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the game, the legacy of Aaron Rodgers keeps taking more hit with each playoff loss. How many times can he and the Packers come up short in critical playoff games?

The conditions yesterday were atrocious, and both offensive lines had a lot of trouble in pass protection. Still, Rodgers and the Packer offense couldn’t muster much production after their opening touchdown drive. And of course, the Packer special teams unit lived up to its horrible reputation and basically handed the game to the 49ers, but there’s not excuse for Rodgers and this high-octane offense to lay an egg in this game. The Packers entered the game as solid favorites over the Niners and were the clear favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Jimmy Garopollo was also battling injuries to his throwing hand and shoulder. The Packer defense held up strong, but the offense behind Rodgers didn’t hold up its end of the bargain.

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