Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield wisely betting on himself, again
Baker Mayfield has been betting on himself his entire life and he’s doing so again with his contract extension, which is once again the right move
No player in NCAA history ever went from a walk-on to a Heisman Trophy until Baker Mayfield did so. And the crazy thing is, when he won the job as the Oklahoma starting quarterback, it was actually the second time he walked onto a collegiate campus and became the starter.
Mayfield originally was a walk-on starter for Texas Tech then later transferred from the Red Raiders to Oklahoma without a scholarship and ended up winning the Heisman following the 2017 season. He was then the No. 1 overall pick for the Cleveland Browns and after three seasons, he’s helped them become a legit contender in the NFL.
Now with the discussion about his contract being brought up, Mayfield is once again playing it smart and betting on himself. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, “the lines of communication” are open between Baker and the Browns but the quarterback and his team are in no hurry to get anything done. And the reason for that makes perfect sense.
"“Another reason there’s ‘no rush’, as Mayfield stated during minicamp two weeks ago, is extensions for his 2018 draft classmates Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson will likely factor into the equation. If Allen and Jackson get their current market value of more than $42 million a year, there’s no way Mayfield is settling for $35 million.” — Mary Kay Cabot on why Baker Mayfield is in no hurry to get an extension done"
If Mayfield truly does want to wait and let Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen get their extensions first, it would be brilliant. Sure, Jackson has an MVP in his back pocket and Allen put together a monstrous season in 2020 but from Week 7 through the end of the year, Mayfield was playing just as good — if not better — than both of them.
He also led one of the longest-suffering franchises into the postseason and knocked their most-hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the postseason. If that wasn’t enough, he played lights out against the Kansas City Chiefs, giving his team a real shot at moving onto the AFC Championship Game.
Add all that up and Mayfield’s representatives can easily argue that his contract should start with the same dollar amount that those two get — which will probably be north of the $40 million per year average Dak Prescott signed this offseason.
In the end, Mayfield is going to get somewhere in the range of that $42 million that Mary Kay Cabot pointed to. And waiting to sign gives him the best shot of doing so.