Baker Mayfield was the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback of the future—for four years. Now, chances are he’s playing in another jersey in 2022, after Cleveland traded the farm in exchange for Deshaun Watson, who is probably going to start, considering the fact that they gave him $230 million guaranteed.
The first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield was the guy the organization identified as the quarterback who was going to drag them out of the doldrums. While he helped, and they even won a playoff game during a winning season, this past year got the organization antsy.
It was clear pretty early on that the relationship between the Browns and their quarterback was becoming frayed. After Mayfield learned of Cleveland setting up a meeting with Watson via social media rather than from a member of the organization, that’s when things really went south—and that is general manager Andrew Berry’s one regret about the process.
“Quite honestly, if there’s probably one thing that I would regret or kind of go back [and do] differently, when he had been notified that we were one of the teams that Deshaun wanted to meet with, late that Monday night, we set up the visit. I had set up a call for Baker’s representation the following morning. The news got out before I was able to make that call”, he said during the league meeting over the weekend, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
“You always hate those type of situations because it kind of gives off an appearance of – that’s never how you want someone to find out about that situation”, he continued. “That’s the one thing I wish I had done a little bit differently. But on the whole, we had been pretty candid in terms of where we stood at the quarterback position really since very early in the offseason”.
Reportedly, the Browns had been upfront with Mayfield about the fact that they intended to explore all options at the quarterback position this offseason, although there had been some conflicting accounts of just what had been communicated between the two parties and when.
That the meeting with Watson was scheduled before Mayfield was informed of that is established, though, and that is when Mayfield broke his silence and pretty much issued a possible farewell speech, bracing for the potentialities.
Mayfield is supposedly scheduled to appear on a podcast that will show up next week where he talks about everything that has gone on lately. I’m not sure how much there is for him to say that wasn’t already implied or assumed. They might as well talk about potential trade options.