Last season, the Cleveland Browns made the questionable move of trading for troubled and controversial quarterback Deshaun Watson in a deal with the Houston Texans.
As if trading for Watson, who was dealing with many off-the-field issues, wasn’t a bad enough look for the Browns, Cleveland didn’t hesitate to sign him to an enormous contract, a fully-guaranteed five-year deal worth $230 million.
After serving his suspension by the NFL, Watson got on the field and played six games for the Browns and won three of those six games while looking mediocre on the field.
Coming into 2023, the pressure will be on Watson as he must prove he’s worth that massive contract, but another quarterback may be dealing with more pressure on a new team, with Aaron Rodgers playing for the New York Jets.
Although Rodgers is on the downside of his career, he was traded to the biggest market in professional sports in this country with a team built to win a Super Bowl immediately with the right quarterback.
Rodgers’ former teammate James Jones believes Rodgers has more pressure in 2023 than Watson, via “Speak” on FS1.
.@89JonesNTAF: Aaron Rodgers has more pressure than Deshaun Watson.
“For Aaron Rodgers, they are talking Super Bowl-or-bust up there. You are the missing piece.” pic.twitter.com/1VyFOxwAZN
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) July 20, 2023
Living up to a massive, fully-guaranteed $230 million contract is one thing, but being expected to win the Super Bowl in a highly competitive division and conference is another.
If Watson fails to live up to expectations next season, he’ll have another season to prove himself in 2024 and so on.
As for Rodgers, it’s Super Bowl or bust, with everything leaning on his play to lead them to the team’s first title since Joe Namath won it all in 1969.
That’s pressure, and it remains to be seen whether Rodgers can handle it while playing under the bright lights of the Big Apple.
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