According to a report from The Athletic's Jeff Howe, Cleveland traded backup Case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a seventh-round pick. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Browns then swiftly moved to sign former Patriots, Colts, and Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett as their new backup.
Keenum will replace the departed Mitchell Trubisky in Buffalo. Left undecided is the fate of deposed Browns starter Baker Mayfield, who requested a trade in the wake of the Watson rumors that began swirling last week. The Browns denied Mayfield's request at first, but after acquiring Watson, seem likely to eventually acquiesce. It has been reported that Mayfield would prefer being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, but there could be other suitors for his services.
As for Brissett, it seems likely that he will be called on to start games for the Browns this season.
The structure of Watson's record-setting new contract seems to indicate that both the team and the quarterback expect him to be suspended for at least part of the 2022 season. Watson's new deal dropped his base salary for the 2022 campaign from $35 million to just $1 million, a move transparently designed to help lessen the financial impact on Watson if and when he is suspended by the league at the conclusion of its investigation into the allegations levied by 22 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct or sexual assault.
Brissett has made 37 starts and appeared in 60 games in his six-year career, completing 60.2% of his passes at an average of 6.4 yards per attempt while throwing 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions on his way to a 14-23 record as a starter. He has also become a prolific quarterback-sneak artist in recent years, and in each of the two seasons where he was his team's full-time starter, he ran for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns.