Baker Mayfield may have tapped out with letter to Cleveland

Browns GM Andrew Berry said Baker Mayfield is "right on track" in his rehabilitation from Jan. 19 choulder surgery.2022-03-01 Baker Mayfield
Browns GM Andrew Berry said Baker Mayfield is "right on track" in his rehabilitation from Jan. 19 choulder surgery.2022-03-01 Baker Mayfield /

After a week full of trade speculation for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield penned what may be his farewell letter to the city of Cleveland. 

The Cleveland Browns came into the offseason with a plan to improve. After falling short of making the playoffs following a successful 2020 season, general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski knew that had to make improvements to get back where they wanted to go.

While many speculated that could mean moving on from the roller coaster ride that is the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield, the team came out and expressed their continued support of him as their starter moving forward.

That is, until earlier this week, when reports surfaced that the Browns were a contender in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes. The Houston Texans quarterback missed the entire 2021 season and is currently in depositions for the 22 lawsuits he is facing from women accusing him of sexual assault and harassment.

However, he is still the hottest name in the quarterback market, even with the Texans asking for a king’s ransom in return.

After publicly supporting the starting quarterback, and then going out and chasing after one of the most talented young quarterbacks in the game, some Browns fans were unable to separate their love and support for Mayfield from the facts and evidence that Watson would be an upgrade, taking issue with the team turning their back on the one who took them to the playoffs in 2020.

While that sort of thing is usually expected of by fans, you don’t usually see players fold under the pressure and show their frustrations with the system.

That’s exactly what appeared to happen on Tuesday night, however, as Mayfield posted a tweet with a message to Cleveland, a sort of farewell to the city. In it, he states that he is unsure of what comes next, but wishes nothing but the best to the city and thanks them for standing by him through the ups and downs.

As you read the message, one thing is clear: Baker Mayfield appears to be tapping out. Whether the team can convince Watson to come to Cleveland or not, it appears that Mayfield’s time in a Browns uniform is over. The underdog can’t fight through this, and wants out, whether Watson becomes a Brown or not.

With Deshaun Watson finalizing his meetings with teams and expected to make a decision in a few days, we will all ultimately know the outcome and place that Baker will play in 2022.

Maybe he does stay as the starter in Cleveland for another year if the trade doesn’t work out, or perhaps he is moved elsewhere for another quarterback option on the market.

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There’s still much to be determined about Baker Mayfield’s future, both as a Brown and in the NFL long term. However, Mayfield’s letter makes it seem like he already knows how the first part of that will play out — and it let us know the chip on his shoulder may have finally cracked.