Can the Browns undo the Deshaun Watson trade? Texans general manager explains why that’s likely not possible
When the Browns originally traded for Deshaun Watson in March, he was facing 22 different civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct. In the three months since the trade went down, the number has shot up to 24 and it could jump up to 26 with two more lawsuits expected to be filed in the coming weeks.
With Watson’s legal situation getting even murkier, some fans around the NFL have started wondering if the Browns would be allowed to rescind the trade that they made with Houston. Texans general manager Nick Caserio was asked that exact question during a recent appearance on SportsRadio 610 in Houston and he basically explained that the trade is a done deal and that there’s no way for anyone to undo it.
“Any trade — forget about this particular one — any trade that takes place, so there’s a process that you have to go through,” Caserio said, via Pro Football Talk. “Teams agree on that and then once you agree on that, it gets submitted to the league. The transaction gets processed and it goes on file with the league. Unless there’s somebody that’s gonna go in there, you know, overnight in a mask and try to get on a computer, and may have a cyberattack like that, I’m not sure anything that can be done there.”
Basically, hacking the league office is the only way this trade is getting undone.
The Texans general manager then explained that the Watson trade was just like any other trade as far as league protocols go.
“No different than a draft day trade,” Caserio said. “Even though it kind of happens more in real time. You have an agreement in place, OK, you contact the league. Or we have a trade, we have an agreement, send the paperwork along, and everybody goes on their merry way. Unless I’m missing something, or unless [you] call [Roger] Goodell and ask him for interpretation and opinion, I would say that whatever trades have happened have happened in the past, and now we’re just focused on training camp and moving forward with the team.”
It’s also worth noting that the Texans have already used two of the draft picks they acquired in the trade, which makes it basically impossible to undo anything. To land Watson, the Browns sent three first-round picks (2022, 2023, 2024), one third-round pick (2023) and two fourth-round picks (2022, 2024) to Houston.
Two of those six picks were used this year: The Texans got the 13th overall pick from the Browns, which they traded to the Eagles. The trade dropped Houston to the 15th overall spot where they grabbed offensive lineman Kenyon Green. The Texans also got the 107th overall pick from the Browns, which they used to draft running back Dameon Pierce.
One thing to keep in mind here is that Caserio explained why a trade can’t be undone because he was asked about it, not because the Browns are actually looking to have it rescinded. There’s been no indication that the Browns are looking to move on from Watson. As a matter of fact, it’s been the opposite. As recently as last week, Cleveland.com reported that the Browns are “firmly committed” to Watson and his fully guaranteed $230 million contract despite the new lawsuits.