Joe Burrow is starting to look like the next NFL Super-Star quarterback. Will the Cleveland Browns move on from Baker Mayfield quicker in an effort to keep up?
The Cleveland Browns have a lot of difficult questions to answer in the 2022 offseason as they were all but “officially” eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday. Andrew Berry has a few difficult cuts to make, a few decisions on who to extend, and choices in the draft.
Perhaps the biggest question after today, how does this organization plan to deal with Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals moving forward? This is a Bengals team that was thought to have a talented quarterback but nothing else in 2022, and they won the AFC North today by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs who are the AFC favorites.
In his second year, Burrow has thrown for over 4,500 yards, 34 touchdowns, and only 14 interceptions with a completion percentage of over 70 percent. This guy just continues to dominate, and when he has his ball in his hands, it feels like the Bengals are going to score.
I don’t want to directly compare Baker Mayfield to Burrow. Mayfield was taken in a different draft, and the Bengals just sucked at the right time to land Burrow. The Bengals also have significantly better wide-receivers and a defense that has overachieved this season.
However, after being in a league where Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson, Carson Palmer, and even Andy Dalton (he really wasn’t bad in Cincinnati) have ruled the division, the Browns must decide if they want to watch this happen.
Obviously, they can’t just go and sign Burrow, man would that be nice, but they could decide to make the leash that much shorter on Mayfield. Berry knows to get an AFC North title in the next three years (at least), the Browns are going to have to find a way to beat Burrow at least once a year.
I’m not saying to hit the panic button, but if Mayfield has another mediocre season in 2022 when he is healthy, there is likely no reason to give him any more of a chance. He may turn into the next Drew Brees, who knows, but if the Browns are serious about competing in the AFC, they must find a quarterback who can beat Burrow.