After a mediocre 2021 and coming off an injury, will Baker Mayfield limit the amount of talent the Cleveland Browns can attract via free agency?
The Cleveland Browns will enter the 2022 offseason hungrier than ever. After an extremely disappointing season, there are a ton of questions that need to be asked.
Who deserves the long-term extension? Denzel Ward is certainly a candidate. What 2021 players should Andrew Berry try and keep? David Njoku and Jadeveon Clowney are popular choices. And last but not least, will Baker Mayfield return to his end of 2020 season form?
There’s no doubt the shoulder injury in Week 2 really slowed Mayfield down. Between the pain from the injury, constantly being under pressure, and loss of accuracy from a brace, this offense struggled much of the year.
There is reason to believe that the Cleveland Browns could struggle to attract talent this offseason via free agency because of the poor performance in 2021, especially at wide receiver where they may need the most help.
Remember, Odell Beckham, forced his way out and has had a wonderful end of the season with the Las Angeles Rams. He isn’t averaging 120 yards per game, but he has been a crucial part of the offense and has helped them win games after doing nothing in Cleveland and many thinking he was done.
Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins both had poor seasons in 2021 as well. Landry was hindered with injuries and Higgins struggled to find the field as he was moved to the fourth-wide receiver on the roster at times.
Kevin Stefanski loves to line up with two and three tight ends and run the ball. It’s not outrageous to think that a high-profile free agent like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, or even Michael Gallup wouldn’t want to come to Cleveland for fear of a rough few seasons.
Yes, Berry can point back to 2020 and share that Mayfield will be healthy in 2022 again, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see some guys stay away due to the struggles of this season.