Baker Mayfield is the Browns franchise quarterback, whether you like it or not
By Nick Pedone
Baker Mayfield is the Cleveland Browns answer
“If anybody was going to turn that franchise around, it’d be me.”
That’s the phrase that Baker Mayfield boldly uttered just three short years ago, ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.
And boy was he correct.
In his first three seasons, Mayfield has come as advertised: a hard-working winner that looks to learn every week.
And boy has he won.
For the first time since 2003, Mayfield’s Browns were victorious over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, where Mayfield was without his head coach and had just introduced himself to key offensive linemen moments before the game.
Despite the nonsense spewed on the internet in lieu of Deshaun Watson’s trade request, Mayfield will be a Cleveland Brown in 2021. And beyond.
"“I think it’s probably just easy to say really pleased with Baker’s performance, really pleased with what he’s done this year,” Browns GM Andrew Berry said via Jake Trotter. “We wouldn’t be here without his contributions.”"
Smart. Tough. Accountable.
Those three adjectives are what Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski have used ad nauseam to describe the type of players they want in brown and orange. Mayfield embodies those traits.
After a disappointing 2019 campaign in which Mayfield threw 21 interceptions and touted a disappointing 6-10 record, he owned up to his mistakes. Mayfield rallied his offensive teammates like Austin Hooper, Case Keenum, and Rashard Higgins in Texas during the NFL’s shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whatever happened at “Camp Mayfield” in Texas worked in a year without OTAs or preseason games. Mayfield brought the Browns to the divisional round of the playoffs with 26 touchdowns and only eight interceptions, compiling a top 10 total QBR along the way.
Smart? Check. Accountability? Check.
Mayfield has 45 consecutive starts at quarterback for the Browns. It hasn’t been a clear path either. From having to sport a flak jacket due to “painfully bruised ribs” in October to rocking a Michael Jackson-esque white glove on his throwing hand after injuring it in a game against the Steelers in 2019, Mayfield has withstood the hits— something that not many of his predecessors were able to do.
Mayfield embodies everything Berry wants. And everything Cleveland.
Blue-collar. Hard-worker. Loyal from the start.
It’s time to put the Deshaun Watson news to bed in Cleveland. Leave production out of it, the Browns have a quarterback that represents the city, is improving exponentially, and wants to lead a broken fanbase to the promised land, a place they have never been before.
Imagine wanting to trade that away for a disgruntled, flashy prima donna that wants out of Houston because a few things went the wrong way.
Let’s ride with Mayfield. At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, he’s going to be here for a long time.