Browns Rumors: Deshaun Watson Issues 2-Word Reaction to Latest Signing
The Cleveland Browns signed former Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins on Saturday — a move that excited quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Akins and Watson were teammates with the Texans for three seasons and will now join forces with the Browns. Watson expressed his feelings on the move with a two-word Instagram post as soon as it was announced.
“We are back!” Watson posted along with a fan-made photo of the two in Browns uniforms.
Akins is also excited about a fresh start with the Browns after enduring some tough seasons at Houston.
“New beginnings, same goal, just different threads. Cleveland, it’s time,” Akins wrote in the caption.
Akins has 151 career catches for 1,755 yards and eight touchdowns and is enjoying his best year as a pro. Despite the Texans’ unstable quarterback situation, Akins caught 37 passes for 495 yards and five touchdowns last season.
He’s a significant red-zone threat at 6ft-4 and a nice addition for the Browns, who were looking for some competition in the second tight finishing spot behind David Njoku.
Akins’ contract with the Browns is for two years and is valued at $3.9 million per Spotrac.
Familiarity should help Watson take the next step
Watson played the last six games for the Browns after an 11-game suspension, with the team going 3-3. Watson — who led the league in passing yards in 2020 — showed glimpses of his Pro Bowl form but completed 58.2% of his passes for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.
Some rust was expected from Watson, who had spent 700 days on the sidelines between starts. He conceded that gridiron after his first start, which was against his former team.
“I’m just saying I felt every one of those 700 days,” Watson said.
Watson knows he can be better but is confident he can turn things around with a full off-season and no threat of suspension.
“We’re going to have a man-to-man talk. Nothing negative or anything like that, but what can we do to get better offensively and as a team,” said Watson at the end of the season. “My next step in taking on this team and taking on this leadership role is to really go outside and really take this whole locker room under my wing. I look forward to it.”
Browns rely more on passing
The Browns went all-in on their move for Watson last offseason, giving up a number of picks — including three first-rounders — and giving their new QB a massive $230 million full-guarantee deal.
While the Browns have ridden their running game with Nick Chubb and run a slew of multiple tight-end sets, that could change next season as Watson’s sophomore.
“Cleveland’s offense will be really interesting next year. Look for the Browns to add a speed wide receiver for Amari Cooper this offseason,” reported NBC Sports’ Matthew Berry at the combine. “A source told me, ‘They’re really going to open the offensive. Go five far. a lot happen. That will be Deshaun Watson’s offense, not Nick Chubb’s. You will endure a lot more than people expect.”
The Browns did a good job off the ball, but mostly on the defensive side of the ball. They still need that speed in their wide-receiver corps, with names like DJ Chark and Odell Beckham Jr. popping up as targets.