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Baker Mayfield’s future in the NFL continues to lack clarity but the Cleveland Browns quarterback doesn’t seem to be sweating it.
Mayfield’s wife, Emily, shared a picture of her quarterback husband and family dog on a boat Monday, giving just a peek behind the scenes of what has been a very difficult offseason for the former top pick.
The Browns decided to go in another direction at quarterback this offseason, pulling off a blockbuster trade for three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson. The move has left Mayfield in no man’s land, with teams unwilling to take him on at his current salary of nearly $19 million thanks to his fifth-year option, which the Browns picked up in 2021.
Mayfield has remained fairly quiet on his situation, especially in contrast to a usual offseason for the outspoken gunslinger. However, he did make a podcast appearance to discuss what it’s been like.
“I had great times my rookie year. I came in and got to have fun back half of the year. 2019 sucked. 2020 was great, made the playoffs, 2021 was miserable. It’s like a rollercoaster, I’m just looking for stabilization right now,” Mayfield said while appearing on the Ya Neva Know Podcast in April. “I really truly honestly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give to that place. True Clevelanders and Browns fans know that. That’s why I can walk away the whole situtation feeling like ‘I did it.’”
Browns Dispute Mayfield’s Claim of ‘Disrespect’
Mayfield also shared that he feels disrespected with how things unfolded in Cleveland, saying the team was not transparent with their pursuit of Watson.
“I feel disrespected. 100%. I was told one thing and they completely did another.”
Browns general manager Andrew Berry disputed that claim, saying that they kept Mayfield’s reps in the loop. That being said, he did admit to something he’d take back.
“We were pretty open with Baker and his camp in terms of how we view the position,’’ Berry said in March. “I will keep those conversations private for obvious reasons. Quite honestly, if there’s probably one thing that I would regret or kind of go back differently, when he had been notified we were one of the teams Desha un Watson wanted to meet with, I had set up a call with Baker’s representation the following morning. The news got out.”
Browns Running Out of Options for Mayfield Trade
The Browns have been weighing their options when it comes to Mayfield, although it appears they’ll have to eat a chunk of his salary to find any suitors. The Panthers and Seahawks have been the most prevalent teams in the trade rumors, although a move from either squad does not appear imminent.
The draft appeared to be the best time for the Browns to find a taker, although all seven rounds passed without a trade being made and more quarterback holes being filled around the league.
“What I would tell you is probably the same thing I told you guys beforehand, that is a fluid situation,” Berry told reporters during the draft. “We will deal with it day to day. My focus has really been on the guys who we acquired and who are going to be rookie players in the next fall.”
The Browns’ last resort is to cut Mayfield, although there’s no logical financial reason to do so. However, the sides could reach a deal that sees Mayfield take less money to be granted his release. That would give the Heisman winner a chance to pick his next team and pursue a starting gig. With only one year left on his contract, Mayfield needs a chance to get on the field to prove he can be a capable starter in the NFL.