Baker Mayfield stated that he felt disrespected by the Cleveland Browns as they targeted Deshaun Watson. On Friday, GM Andrew Berry responded to his words.
It’s been a long offseason for Baker Mayfield. Following a rough campaign that ended with shoulder surgery, the quarterback had to sit back and watch as the Cleveland Browns went after Deshaun Watson.
Initially, it appeared Watson was not going to join Cleveland but at the 11th hour, he changed his mind and will be sporting the orange and brown in 2022 — and at least four years after that.
As for Mayfield, he said he felt “disrespected” by the team this offseason while appearing on the YNK podcast recently. While his comments were genuine and honest, they did little to help him find a new home — a quarterback already considered too emotionally driven probably should have steered clear from saying anything at all about his current team until after he was gone.
On Friday, Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry was asked about Mayfield saying he felt this way and he said he understands why Mayfield felt this way on a personal level while maintaining the team was transparent all along with Mayfield and his representation.
"“We were transparent with our intentions with his reps,” Berry said via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “That being said, I think we can all understand how Baker feels. Sometimes, things in the NFL — whether it’s team-related, coach-related, player-related, they may not work out. Baker is a competitive and driven young man who has had success as a quarterback and will continue to have success as a quarterback, so (I) definitely understand it.”"
It was reported throughout the process that Cleveland told Mayfield’s management team that they would seek to upgrade if an “elite quarterback” became available to them. They then went to speak to Deshaun Watson and after it appeared he was not joining, they tried to go forward with Mayfield.
At this point, however, the damage already was done. Mayfield took to social media (something that rarely goes well for him) and wrote a thank you letter to the city of Cleveland. A nice sentiment for a player leaving, but at this point, Watson was not with the Browns so it felt premature.
Mayfield also requested a trade, to which Cleveland said no thank you. Again, their goal seemed to be running it back with Mayfield — but then a change of plans happened again when Watson elected to sign on.
With all this being said, it’s very easy to see why Mayfield felt the way he did — and it’s also possible to feel disrespected even if the front office was 100 percent open.
Berry’s response shows that he understands how Mayfield feels, even if he believes they tried their best to show him respect along the way.