Trevor Bauer won’t be missed if he pitched last MLB game for Dodgers

As Deshaun Watson sat out the 2021 NFL season, it rumbled on smoothly without him.

The league produced a record $11 billion in national revenue. TV ratings were up 10%, highest since 2015. More than 110 million viewers tuned into the Super Bowl, also the highest since 2015.

The NFL did not miss Deshaun Watson.

And yet after a year spent in limbo while he faced 26 lawsuits from massage therapists detailing alleged misconduct, Watson, at his best a franchise quarterback, was greeted not as a depreciated asset but rather a hot commodity.

His former team, the Houston Texans, fetched six draft picks, including three consecutive first-rounders, from the Cleveland Browns. The Browns then gifted Watson a record $230 million guarantee, including a $45 million signing bonus, even as they knew an NFL suspension – ultimately 11 games of the 2022 season – was imminent.

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