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“They were always looking to get rid of him”: Senior NFL analyst claims the Browns never wanted to retain Baker Mayfield as a Plan B option to Deshaun Watson

Baker Mayfield admitted at his youth camp that he and the Cleveland Browns organization have mutually agreed to part ways thus closing the room for any rumors indicating a reconciliation

Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns troubles are not yet over, the team just cannot catch a break as there seems to be no end in sight for its troubles. One one hand, you have Baker Mayfield, who is looking to get up out of there at the first chance that he gets and then there is Deshaun Watson who is trying to get onto the field and play ball but his off the field antics have ensured he may not be able to do so in the foreseeable future.

Baker has made it extremely clear to Cleveland that he wants out of there, the team was exploring trade options for him as well but his hefty salary cap that whichever team took him would have to bear has led to well, no offers really. The Panthers seem to be the only party showing a lot of interest in him and why should they not, he is better than Sam Darnold by any means. Cleveland has also agreed to forego their demand of not taking on his guaranteed $18.9 million salary and has agreed to cover half of that amount. They just seem to want him gone now.

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“There is a mutual decision from both sides to move on”: Baker Mayfield has closed the Cleveland Browns chapter

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield recently held a youth football camp after which he spoke to the media, he made it firm there that under no circumstance would he be willing to go back to Cleveland and even if he did, it was up to the organization to initiate contacts and talks of that nature. There were earlier reports that Cleveland really did not want to let go of Baker completely given the uncertainty around Deshaun Watson. Jacoby Brissett would be starting for the team without Deshaun and Baker on the squad and he is the last person you would pick to start your season with.

This notion that Baker was a sort of insurance to Deshaun Watson is reportedly based on just rumors. Senior NFL analyst Albert Breer appeared on the Rich Eisen Show where he spoke about Baker’s future and also addressed certain rumors that have been circulating around the league. “The Browns will move forward and continue to trade him (but) a full year suspension (of Deshaun Watson) changes it. You sign Jacoby Brissett and you’re comfortable with him as your starter for 6 or 8 games. Are you comfortable with him for the full year? We saw how that went in Indianapolis in 2019, he was okay but faded down the stretch. Is there a scenario out there, the best thing for everyone, the Browns and Mayfield is to reconcile?” Breer mentions. It is unlikely that Baker will return to the Browns given how the situation has turned out this offseason and it has now reached a point that he is fine with joining any team and does not have a handful of selections that he is adamant on.

Jacoby Brissett is no ideal starter. In the 2019 season, he started 15 games, had a pass completion percentage of just 60.2%, threw for 18 TDs total, and had 6 INTs. The team went 7-9 that season. Breer goes on to add, “Baker Mayfield is being forthright, he is 100% done with the Browns and that is how has operated the last few months and that the Browns based on their actions have not held on to him as any form of insurance policy. They are holding on to him because they cannot move him because of his numbers. The fact that they were willing to take on half of his salary to facilitate a trade tells me, they were never looking at him as an insurance policy, they were always looking to trade him. Could a year’s suspension change that? If Watson is out for the entire season, then is Baker Mayfield the best option for the Browns? The answer is yes.”

Deshaun Watson’s chances of playing a game for the Browns this season are very grim

If the Browns do end up facing such a situation then Baker Mayfield will have all the cards in his favor, the leverage will shift towards him and even after all of that, it is doubtful if he will budge and agree to return. Baker could be put in a better situation with any other team and go there and prove the haters wrong, if he were to go to the Panthers then he would face the Browns in his first game which makes it a perfect rivalry matchup. “Is Carolina a better situation now? Matt Rhule’s job is on the line now,” Breer mentions that Baker going to the Panthers or the Seattle Seahawks is not the ideal situation but if he does turn these teams around and send them to the playoffs he would officially be back in business.

Getting both these teams into the playoffs at the moment is a challenge by itself and their fans have already begun to accept with the fact that the teams are in a rebuilding stage but if Mayfield does the impossible then it would silence all his haters. There is also another angle to the story, Baker has often been called childish and immature by anonymous teammates and coaches. Let us assume Deshaun Watson gets suspended for a year, if Baker decides to give his pride up and decide that he will return to Cleveland and has a stellar season, then not only will he be proving his football talent but at the same time, it would encourage teams to eye him and maybe go, ‘Did you see what he did there in Cleveland? Maybe he would fit into our organization and adjust accordingly.’

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