It also means the Browns likely become the beneficiary with higher draft picks.
The Browns own the Texans’ first-round draft pick in 2018 from the draft-day trade that netted Houston the right to select Watson. Cleveland owns the Texans’ second-round choice in 2018 from the Brock Osweiler trade.
Houston is 3-4 but had scored the most points in the league since Watson took over as the starter in Week 2, and, sitting only one game behind the Titans and Jaguars, the Texans expected to contend for the division title. Division winners draft no higher than 21st.
Now? Those Browns’ picks, via the Texans, could move up an extra 10-12 spots.
Of course, Bill O’Brien has won with worse starters. The Texans finished 9-7, 9-7, 9-7 in his first three seasons in Houston, using three starting quarterbacks, four starting quarterbacks and two starting quarterbacks the past three seasons respectively.
Houston, in fact, has started as many different quarterbacks (9) as the Browns have since 2014. The difference is: The Texans know who their franchise quarterback is. The Browns don’t.
But maybe Cleveland can find one in the 2018 draft. Or maybe not.