AP source: Watson changes mind, joining Browns


By Tom Withers - AP Sports Writer



FILE - Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during the team's NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. Several teams are scrambling to find a quarterback. Some of those, including Carolina, New Orleans and Cleveland, have been in discussions with Watson, who sat out last season. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)

FILE - Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during the team's NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. Several teams are scrambling to find a quarterback. Some of those, including Carolina, New Orleans and Cleveland, have been in discussions with Watson, who sat out last season. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)


Controversial quarterback Deshaun Watson has changed his mind and will accept a trade to the Cleveland Browns, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Friday.

Watson had informed the Browns on Thursday that he wasn’t coming before having a change of heart and calling the team Friday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the imminent trade.

Watson will be joining a Cleveland team with plenty of talent, but one that has been in search of a franchise quarterback for years.

The three-time Pro Bowler with Houston became a target of the Browns after a grand jury declined to indict him on sexual misconduct claims made by 22 women.

His arrival in Cleveland will likely be met with a backlash by some fans, but the Browns are comfortable with his character after doing their own investigation.

ESPN first reported Watson’s decision.

The Browns’ pursuit of Watson angered incumbent starter Baker Mayfield, who requested a trade.

Cleveland turned down his demand before learning Watson had agreed to waive his no-trade clause and jump to the AFC North.

FILE – Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during the team’s NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. Several teams are scrambling to find a quarterback. Some of those, including Carolina, New Orleans and Cleveland, have been in discussions with Watson, who sat out last season. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_128412812-ea9f5939507f46f1b963028538c57c28.jpgFILE – Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during the team’s NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. Several teams are scrambling to find a quarterback. Some of those, including Carolina, New Orleans and Cleveland, have been in discussions with Watson, who sat out last season. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)

By Tom Withers

AP Sports Writer