As it turns out, teams who have young quarterbacks of some accomplishment who are due to get paid decline to look at their own players as cautionary tales, even though perhaps more quarterbacks fail than succeed after receiving their big payday. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, for example, were both traded this offseason. They were drafted first and second overall and then got paid, and are now gone within two years.
The AFC North has two first-round picks from 2018 due to get paid in the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield. At every opportunity, the Browns keep getting asked about Goff and Wentz and whether that concerns them, and they keep saying no. Browns general manager Andrew Berry’s latest swing at the assertion came on Ross Tucker’s podcast.
“I think it’s a bit too strong to call them cautionary tales, because I truly do believe each individual and then each individual’s situation based on the circumstances that are going on in their environment or their organization are different”, he said, as transcribed by Charean Williams for Pro Football Talk.
“Obviously it’s something that we’re aware of and obviously I’m particularly aware of it with Carson, but I would be hesitant to overly extrapolate that and what happened with those two individuals for maybe broader implications moving forward. We’ll make the decisions that we think are appropriate with our guys based on the data that we have on hand”.
For those who may be unaware, Berry, who was the Browns’ vice president of player personnel from 2016 through 2018, served one year in Philadelphia in 2019 as vice president of football operations before Cleveland brought him back in his current role of general manager (in addition to executive vice president of football operations, because the new Browns love their titles).
It was during the 2019 season that the Eagles signed Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract extension on June 6. Philadelphia ultimately traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts on March 17, 2021, fewer than two years after signing the extension. Wentz led the NFL in interceptions and turnovers last season.
As for Mayfield, he is entering his fourth season after posting an 11-5 record last year. He completed 305 of 486 pass attempts for 3,563 yards with 26 touchdown passes to eight interceptions, with a quarterback rating of 95.9.
Mayfield also had by far the best blocking of his career and one of the best running games in the NFL. He still has both of those things this year, and they are getting back Odell Beckham Jr. after a torn ACL last season. They also drafted wide receiver Anthony Schwartz in the third round after using their first two picks (and most of their free agency resources) on retooling the defense.