After four seasons together, it appears the breakup between the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield will be messy. How did we get here?
For the Cleveland Browns, it feels like the offseason has all but stopped the last week. Between the addition of Deshaun Watson and his uncertainty for the 2022 season, and the bridge all but burnt down to the ground between the organization and Baker Mayfield, it’s been a wild ride.
Let’s just be honest, Andrew Berry is typically the smartest guy in the room. Not only does he have an Ivy League education, but you also don’t just become an NFL general manager without some serious skillset, even though most of us fans think we can do better.
If you think Berry went all-in on Watson without knowing the repercussions of how Mayfield would respond, you’re off your rocker. I argue the reason he went all-in is that he knew that Mayfield wasn’t going to return and he knew even if Watson didn’t work out, they were going somewhere else.
Now, our once most prized possession can’t even be given away. This situation turned into trying to receive some sort of draft asset for a Mayfield trade to the Cleveland Browns having to include a pick just to dump his $18 million salary in 2022.
Was Baker Mayfield overvalued?
I was never in the camp of thinking Baker Mayfield was elite, but I also would not have been upset to see him get one more chance with a healthy shoulder. But why did we give him so much credit?
He never had a completion percentage great than 64 percent, his most touchdown throws in a season came as a rookie, and he was someone that always trusted his arm too much which led to interceptions.
The reason most loved him, as he was 29-30 and played nearly four straight seasons, which hasn’t happened since the organization returned in 1999. Did you know that if you look at the 2010 season through 2017, the organization had the same number of wins and about 50 starting quarterbacks?
Can you really blame fans for loving someone who in four years totaled the number of wins we saw in the previous eight seasons? Who also led us to the playoffs, and a playoff win?
The answer is no, you are allowed to be sad to see him go.
However, this situation has been eye-opening on how the league views Mayfield. The fact that the Browns can’t get a single trade offer for a guy with a year left and only $18 million of cap, says a lot about him.
The underdog mentality is a great chip to carry around, but wearing your emotions on your sleeve in a business as cutthroat as the NFL never seems to work out.