The Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens are on the clock to get new contract extensions done for their young quarterbacks before the start of the regular season, after the Buffalo Bills completed their big deal with Josh Allen, signing him to a six-year, $258 million extension that averages $43 million per year in new money.
But it’s not the end of the world if the deal isn’t done in time. Unlike the Pittsburgh Steelers, the other teams in the AFC North don’t mind continuing negotiations into the season. The Ravens, for example, got a new extension done with Ronnie Stanley in the middle of last season. When they traded for Marcus Peters a couple years ago in-season, they got an extension done before the year was out.
While there are some valid reasons that a team would want to suspend contract talks in-season—namely, everybody is going to want to renegotiate—most players will understand that the quarterback is a unique position. and Mayfield doesn’t care about the process at all, just the end result.
“I am not doing the negotiations so quite frankly I do not give a damn”, he told reporters yesterday when he was asked for his thoughts on negotiations bleeding into the season. “I am worried about winning Week 1, then going on to Week 2 and focusing on that week one week at a time. That is my mindset so no matter how many times I get asked this question throughout the year, it is going to be the same answer because that is just the truth”.
It will be interesting to see what Mayfield’s contract will look like. While he was the first overall pick, he is less accomplished than Allen and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, the latter of whom already has an MVP under his belt. Allen threw for 4,544 yards last season with 37 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and went to the Pro Bowl while taking to the Bills to the AFC Championship game.
For Mayfield, he did take the Browns to their first non-losing record in over a decade and helped them win their first playoff game—over the Steelers—since 1994. But he threw for just 3,563 yards, in comparison, with 26 touchdowns, and has yet to make a Pro Bowl. But he doesn’t play the comparison game, either.
“Like I said, I am worried about winning. I think the rest will take care of itself”, he said when asked his reaction to Allen’s contract. “Yeah, it is good for the quarterback position overall. I would be lying if I said otherwise. I am worried about winning right now. I do not know the timeline on it. We have not talked about it because I am worried about winning this season”.