Cleveland Browns: 3 Reasons Baker Mayfield could struggle in 2020

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

1. The crushing weight of expectations

An interesting question was posed on Twitter recently by ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky. The former NFL quarterback asked who was the last top-5 quarterback to come in and completely flip an organization around.

He pointed out that Cam Newton didn’t have the success it seems he did outside of a few seasons and Andrew Luck was absolutely pummelled due to his team being poor all around him — something that happened to Baker Mayfield last season.

The point is, Orlovsky is right. Coming into a team such as the Cleveland Browns and turning them from a proverbial punching bag to a legitimate NFL team is tough. We all said if anyone could do it, Baker Mayfield was the guy. Heck, even Mayfield said it during the draft as he was telling the team that he was the one who could make them relevant once again.

So far, he’s gotten them close. They were 5-3 down the stretch in his rookie season but they still finished 7-8-1 overall. Cleveland took a step back in 2019, going 6-10 under Freddie Kitchens — and Mayfield looked much less comfortable with the entire team.

In the end, we are all hoping to chalk it up to Kitchens not being the right guy for the job and now Kevin Stefanski will save the day. This could very well happen but there’s also a chance the team could continue to struggle to look for its identity and if that were to happen, the pressure would continue to mount on the shoulders of No. 6.

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Mayfield is clearly the best quarterback Cleveland has had since returning to the NFL in 1999 but no one is impervious to the weight of unmet expectations. Eventually, he will need to start tasting success.