The Cleveland Browns are sending a lot of mixed messages across the league. The team has retained their former first pick in the NFL draft, Baker Mayfield while having acquired Deshaun Watson for a deal worth $200 million. What is more surprising is that Watson is not guaranteed to play as the league has not yet fully cleared him to return. In light of these events, Baker Mayfield’s future in the league as a starter is very uncertain.
Mayfield has publicly stated that he wants to be traded but the team refuses to release him as they want to get his full trade value, however, there is another possibility as well. The Cleveland Browns are holding on to Baker Mayfield with the view that he is a solid plan B, in case Watson is ineligible to play, the team would want to start Baker again. It is highly doubtful that Mayfield would oblige, especially in light of recent reports.
“You better be kissing his butt now”: Mike Florio cites the only way Baker Mayfield could consider staying in Cleveland
A recent story that surfaced on ESPN accused the Cleveland Browns’ organization of something serious, they betrayed the quarterback when he was struggling in the team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17. “Mayfield and people close to him believe that they left him in the game, week 17 at Pittsburgh, primetime to make it easier to pivot to Deshaun Watson or someone else. I don’t know how you come back from that,” Florio said.
It is true, that such an incident is hard to come back from, when your own team on purpose makes you look bad, the trust in the organization and coaches you have as a player goes away. “If he(Baker) truly believes that and if the Browns are thinking, ‘We may need this guy all year, we don’t know, maybe we need him,’ you better be kissing his butt now to get him back on board on with the idea that there could be a mutual benefit to be served here.”
The Browns and Mayfield will have to end up understanding that they both need one another as presently not one NFL team has traded for Mayfield, Carolina expressed interest in him but that trade was dead within hours as the Browns asked for too much. In addition to this, there are many teams like the Seahawks who do not have a solid starting QB and are likely just viewing the situation in Cleveland to see how it plays out. They are looking to pick Baker up for chump change when he is either released or when his trade value further goes down. The Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider as per Florio are “sitting back and waiting so maybe they can steal Baker Mayfield if they even want him, there is nothing to suggest that they even want him but that may be part of the poker face that they are trying to project. Meanwhile, they also love Geno Smith, people think Drew Lock will be the quarterback but he’s gotta beat out Geno. Pete has said multiple times, Geno has the lead, Geno knows the offense, and Geno played well last season when Russell was injured.”
The Cleveland Browns were not that attractive for Deshaun Watson to go as a destination, however, once they guaranteed him all that money, the QB had to say yes as that was one of the best deals he could get given the circumstances. All of this leaves Baker Mayfield’s future hanging in the balance as nothing is certain for the QB, he cannot leave but he does not want to stay either.