Derrick Deshaun Watson, born Sept. 14, 1995, serves as the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback in the NFL. His collegiate career at Clemson peaked with a national title in 2016, leading to his first-round selection by the Houston Texans in 2017. Watson’s NFL journey has been marked by both record-setting performances and controversy. He led the Texans to consecutive division titles and topped the league in passing yards in 2020. However, his career faced turbulence due to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, impacting his tenure with the Texans and leading to his eventual move to the Browns in 2022 with a landmark contract.
Watson’s personal life and early years
Watson’s personal life and early years reveal a journey marked by significant achievements and commitments. Born to Deann Watson and Don Richardson in Gainesville, Georgia, he broke several state records in high school football and was a celebrated recruit. Watson’s philanthropic efforts are notable, including significant contributions to his community in Gainesville and Houston. Despite challenges, including legal battles and public scrutiny, Watson’s professional path continues, underscored by his substantial contract with the Browns and his ongoing contributions to the sport and community.
Watson’s net worth and salary
According to various sources, Watson has an estimated net worth of $50 million to $65 million as of 2024 . His net worth is largely derived from his lucrative contracts with the Texans and the Browns, as well as his endorsement deals and business ventures. In 2017, Watson signed a four-year, $13.84-million contract with the Texans, which included an $8.21-million signing bonus. In 2020, he signed a four-year, $156-million extension with the Texans, which included a $27-million signing bonus and an average annual salary of $39 million. However, after requesting a trade and facing legal troubles, Watson did not play in the 2021 season. In 2022, he was traded to the Browns, where he signed a five-year, $230-million contract, which included a $45-million signing bonus and an average annual salary of $46 million. This contract made him the highest-paid NFL player in history at the time. Unfortunately, Watson suffered a shoulder injury in 2023, which sidelined him for the rest of the season. As of November 2023, the Browns still owed him $138 million, fully guaranteed.
Watson’s business ventures
Over the years, Watson has proven to be a savvy entrepreneur, claiming ownership to successful business ventures like:
Watson and Jalen Ramsey partnered with the alternative investment platform Rally Rd, which specializes in securitizing high-value assets and offering them as equity investments. This platform allows users to invest in luxury items such as vintage and rare cars, watches, purses, and memorabilia. Watson’s investments through Rally Rd include a 1988 Lamborghini, valued at $292,000, and a 1970 Rolex watch, worth $20,000. For both Ramsey and Watson, seeing their money in a physical form (particularly in an area of personal interest) rather than investing in a business or product they didn’t care much for was a major selling point with Rally Rd.
Watson’s investment in Zurvita, a health and wellness brand, showcases his interest in diverse and health-conscious business ventures. Zurvita, known for its sports drinks, represents a strategic choice for Watson, aligning with his athletic lifestyle and public persona. By partnering with a brand that promotes health and wellness, Watson not only diversifies his investment portfolio but also reinforces his commitment to a lifestyle that mirrors the peak physical and mental condition required of a professional athlete. In 2019, He was announced as Zurvita’s national spokesperson. Watson represents Zurvita and its Performance Line, which consists of three specialty nutritional products — FUE1, H2O and R3PAIR — designed to enhance all “bodies in motion.”
- LEFTY’S CHEESESTEAK
Watson’s investment in Lefty’s Famous Cheesesteaks is a strategic and well-thought-out move that aligns with his vision for long-term business growth. Partnering with Lefty’s founder Sam Berry, Watson’s involvement is not just financial; he is deeply engaged in the business, contributing to its overall vision and direction. Lefty’s, known for its quality food at affordable prices, offers a range of items beyond cheesesteaks, including burgers and chicken sandwiches. Watson’s decision to bring Lefty’s to Houston, where the first Texas location opened near NRG Stadium, reflects his commitment to accessible, family-oriented dining options, further cementing his role as a savvy investor and business-minded athlete.
- GOLDIN AUCTIONS
Watson’s investment in Goldin Auctions, a leading marketplace for trading cards and collectibles, is part of a $40-million growth financing round led by The Chernin Group (TCG). This strategic investment reflects Watson’s foresight in recognizing the burgeoning market of collectibles and memorabilia, an industry that has seen a surge in popularity and value in recent years. Watson, along with other athletes and celebrities, joined the board of advisors of Goldin Auctions, which has sold some of the most coveted items in sports and entertainment history, such as a Honus Wagner baseball card, a Michael Jordan rookie card, and a Kobe Bryant championship ring.
- REAL ESTATE
Watson’s venture into the realm of real estate embodies his sagacity and foresight in financial planning. His investment in a palatial estate in Hunting Valley, Ohio, spanning an impressive 17,000 square feet, exemplifies not just a haven of luxury but also a shrewd investment decision. This abode, replete with opulent amenities like a state-of-the-art gym and a private cinema, underscores Watson’s perspicacity in recognizing the potential of real estate as a lucrative asset. He also has investments in prized property in other luxurious locations in the United States. This strategic move into property ownership highlights his adeptness in amalgamating personal luxury with long-term financial growth.
Watson is a talented and controversial quarterback who has built a $200-million net-worth through his diverse and successful ventures. He is an inspiration for aspiring athletes and entrepreneurs alike. He shows that with talent, hard work, and smart choices, one can achieve both fame and fortune in the sports and business world.