Deshaun Watson’s recent 6-game suspension was increased to 11 after a settlement was reached between the NFL and NFLPA yesterday. Watson now faces a $5 million fine in addition to missing 11 games without pay.
The suspension lasts until November 28, allowing Watson to return in time to face his old team, the Houston Texans, in Week 13.
QB Jacoby Brissett will start in Watson’s place unless the Browns sign a free agent by the start of the 2022-23 NFL season. Brissett spent time with the Miami Dolphins last year, winning 2-3 in his 5 starts in support of Tua Tagovailoa.
Rumors have leaked that Cleveland is interested in acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo from the San Francisco 49ers. The move would give the Browns a chance for the postseason this year, but Jimmy G could be out due to Watson’s imminent return.
The Seattle Seahawks would be a good landing spot for Garroppolo, but that would almost certainly require him to be cut by the 49ers as they are unlikely to sell him to a division rival.
NFL betting sites are currently forecasting the Browns to finish 3rd in the AFC North, while the Seattle Seahawks are expected to finish bottom in the NFC West.
The addition of Jimmy Garoppolo to either Cleveland or Seattle’s lineup would definitely improve their prospects for 2022-23, but only the Seahawks make sense if Watson returns in late November.
Cleveland Browns schedule ahead of Watson
against New York Jets
against Los Angeles Chargers
against New England
vs Tampa Bay
The first four games of Cleveland’s 2022-23 schedule are incredibly winnable. After that, the road gets a lot tougher, but the Browns could have a playoff shot if they hover around .500 on Watson’s return.
Cleveland Browns schedule after Watson
against New Orleans
With Watson in the middle, the Browns should have a chance to win all remaining six games, but four of them are on the way.
NFL prop bets regarding the fate of the Cleveland Browns in the playoffs have either been suspended or removed from the boards entirely, but we found the following odds at BetOnline.
The Cleveland Browns’ chances of the NFL playoffs
The Browns’ chances of betting on the NFL playoffs are very even despite the news of Watson’s increased suspension. The same cannot be said for the Seahawks and their postseason hopes.
The Seattle Seahawks’ chances of the NFL playoffs
$1 bets placed on a result of “Yes” in the Seattle NFL Playoff Prop bet above will award net winnings of $4.50 if they finish in the bottom 7 teams in the NFC this year.
While these long odds are reasonable at the moment, they will shift towards even more if and when they acquire Jimmy Garroppolo. NFL betting is all about risk, and the odds tend to get better the further a prediction is made.
That said, make your call now if you intend to maximize your winnings by betting on the Cleveland Browns or the Seattle Seahawks to make the playoffs.
ESPN, NBC Sports, Bovada, BetOnline