Mike Florio of Pro Football Focus says the Browns should cut Baker Mayfield and move on, but also ripped them for how they’ve handled his situation
While he understands the team is trying to save nearly $19 million, Florio claims they’re treating Mayfield like “property” and as if he was not a real human being.
Before making that point, he even cited JuJu Smith-Schuster – formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers – saying the Browns are still full of dysfunction.
"“JuJu was right. The Browns is the Browns. Even as the team becomes more competitive, dysfunction lingers in the organization. Their handling of Mayfield proves it. Intent on treating him like property and not like a human being whose career hinges on getting himself in position to find a new home sooner than later, the Browns are sending a very bad message to current and future members of the team.” – Florio, Pro Football Talk"
From there, Florio makes fun of the fact that the Browns employ a ‘Chief Strategy Officer’ adding that they are using their commitment to having a strategy as an excuse for failing to do the right thing.
Should Cleveland just cut Baker Mayfield?
Clearly, Florio comes across as harsh in his assessment. But he’s not necessarily wrong.
Cleveland has held onto Baker Mayfield well into May now and it’s clear that no team wants to pay the full $18.8 million. In fact, the Browns will likely have to eat most of that in a trade, and they are highly unlikely to get anything beyond a mid-round pick.
So instead of holding onto Mayfield and possibly damaging their image with future free agents, they should probably just cut ties and let him pick his next destination.
Will they lose some money?
Yes, but they had to know this was a possibility when they went after Deshaun Watson while still having a quarterback on the roster with a guaranteed contract.
Will they miss out on a mid-to-late-round draft pick?
Also yes, but who cares. Those picks are a dime a dozen and they can make that up without much effort.
In the end, it would probably do everyone involved a world of good to move on. There was a time when being patient was the right strategy but that time passed when Mayfield wasn’t dealt during the 2022 NFL Draft.
Baker Mayfield gave the Browns all he had for four seasons and was a great representative in the community. It’s time to thank him for what he did and move forward.