The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans will be linked by Deshaun Watson for a long time. While Watson served his six-game suspension in Cleveland in 2022, Houston is dealing with a different issue related to their former quarterback that will impact the Browns and the 2023 NFL draft.
During COVID restrictions, the Texans paid for Watson to work out a local facility when the team’s facility was closed. Reportedly, the team did not think the $26,000 they paid went against NFL rules.
It is unclear how long the league investigated the matter but Thursday we found out the punishment:
The #Texans will forfeit their original fifth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and have been fined $175,000 for a salary cap reporting violation, the NFL announced today. pic.twitter.com/oxNwYHHAsV— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2023
Once compensatory picks are announced, it is expected that Houston will forfeit pick #139.
Houston is the second team to be docked a draft selection this year. The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick for tampering with QB Tom Brady.
Due to the Troy Hill trade with the Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland has two selections in the fifth round currently expected to be picks #143 and #145. Those will move up one position each as will all subsequent draft picks throughout the remainder of the draft.
With the additional picks accumulated in the Watson trade, the Texans won’t miss the pick as much as other teams might.
Once compensatory picks are officially announced, we will have an update on which picks the Browns have in the 2023 NFL draft.