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Report: Deshaun Watson decides to play for the Cleveland Browns in a surprising turnaround

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Deshaun Watson has decided to play for the Cleveland Browns and will waive his no-trade clause to close a deal, a league source confirmed to Yahoo Sports.

The compensation will include three first-round picks and two additional picks.

The Browns will reportedly give Watson a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract, the highest guaranteed sum of money in NFL history, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Watson ultimately opted to waive his no-trade clause for the Browns this week after meeting with multiple trade suitors and the Houston Texans working on a trade package. The deal ends a year-long matchup between Watson and the Texans after he requested a trade in January 2021 and then didn’t play in a single game last season.

Watson will now start back on the football field, but with his civil litigation still pending as of this week. He remains involved in 22 civil lawsuits alleging a series of sexual misconduct or assault against the quarterback. Watson began his deposition portion of those trials last week. A grand jury ultimately declined to indict Watson on criminal charges that were tied to multiple women’s allegations in the civil lawsuits. That lack of a criminal indictment opened the door for a trade this week, with multiple teams making offers to the Texans ahead of today’s deal.

His legal troubles aside, Watson is still viewed as one of the top five NFL quarterbacks by teams, a reality that fueled this week’s trade searches despite civil charges still pending against him. Watson, the 12th pick in the 2017 draft, has been to three Pro Bowls and completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards and 104 touchdowns with just 36 interceptions. He is under contract through the end of the 2025 season, with the four-year extension he signed in September 2020 for just under $30 million per year in annual base salary beginning this year.

This story will be updated.

Deshaun Watson has a new home with the Cleveland Browns. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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