The Cleveland Browns have been searching for a quarterback since re-joining the NFL in 1999 and Baker Mayfield has proven to be their guy
Since coming back to the NFL in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have been struggling to find consistent success. One of the main reasons for that has been their inability to land a franchise quarterback. But that’s changed now thanks to Baker Mayfield.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2018, Mayfield has endured a lot of the same problems many other quarterbacks in Cleveland have. There was instability in the coaching ranks as well as with the general manager.
During his rookie season, head coach Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were canned after eight games. They didn’t keep interim head coach Gregg Williams but instead turned to Freddie Kitchens who was the interim offensive coordinator during those final eight games of 2018.
When Kitchens didn’t work out, he was gone as was John Dorsey —‚the GM that took Baker. That meant Andrew Berry would take over as the GM and Kevin Stefanski would be the new head coach in 2020.
For Mayfield, this meant he had four head coaches in just three seasons in the NFL. He also had four different offensive coordinators and now enters 2021 with the same staff and offensive system he finished the previous campaign with for the first time in his career.
That fact makes it even more impressive that he’s done as well as he has and the team has shown their appreciation for his hard work by picking up the fifth year on his rookie deal. However, they don’t want to stop there as team owner Jimmy Haslam says that they need to already be thinking about what to do after the fifth year to keep Mayfield in town.
"“Baker deserves a fifth-year option, and he and Andrew [Berry] have both addressed the possibility of things after that,’’ Haslam said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “We’ll leave that up to Andrew to decide when that happens, but we’re well pleased with where Baker is.”"
Haslam was very complimentary of Mayfield during his recent press conference. He also praised Mayfield for his growth this past season while expressing excitement over watching him play in the same system for the second season in a row.
Cleveland ended a lot of bad streaks in 2020 when they won 11 games in the regular season and added a playoff victory as well. Now they can end another one as an extension for Mayfield would be proof that they finally got it right when looking for their next signal caller.
It took much longer than expected but the Browns finally have their guy in Baker Mayfield and the owner seems ready to commit long-term.