As the last three weeks have entailed a chain of negative developments for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, some have wondered whether, at some point, the Browns could undo the trade with the Texans.
Houston G.M. Nick Caserio, appearing Thursday on SportsRadio 610, was asked about the possibility of the Browns getting out of the trade, months after the fact.
“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. “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.
“No different than a draft day trade. 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 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.”
Caserio is right. Nothing can be done at this point. The trade happened. It’s over. It’s done. The Browns knew or should have known about the circumstances surrounding Watson. They assumed the risk that there will be more lawsuits. They assumed the risk that there will be more negative media coverage. They assumed the risk of one or more adverse verdicts against Watson. They assumed the risk of whatever the league may do with Watson under the Personal Conduct Policy.
It this goes off the rails for the Browns, they can’t blame the Texans. The Browns allowed themselves to get caught up in a four-team chase for Watson, and they apparently glossed over or underestimated the potential problems that still could emerge for the team and the player.
The remedy for the Browns isn’t to back out now. The remedy for the Browns was to back out then. Instead, after Watson removed them from the competition, they put together an offer he couldn’t refuse, and they won the race.
Although the Browns would never admit that they wish they hadn’t, the other three teams are surely glad that they did.