Baker Mayfield was supposed to be the guy to turn the Cleveland Browns franchise around and for a moment, it felt as though he was going to do just that. He led the team into the postseason and even won a playoff game in Pittsburgh.
However, just one season later, the Browns went after Deshaun Watson and landed the former Houston Texans quarterback. Mayfield has since played for the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — where he's off to an impressive start. But he recently said he's still confused about how it all went down.
While appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, McAfee told Mayfield he grew up in Pittsburgh and truly understands the rivalry. He stated that when Mayfield won that postseason game, he felt he was set to be in Cleveland forever — then added he was confused by what all went down.
Mayfield's initial response was: "I think I'm still confused too."
He added that he's "a firm believer that everything happens for a reason" and took the past year to try and reflect. He said he wanted to learn to be a better mentor and professional while looking for the best in his departure from the Panthers and second chance with the Rams.
Now in Tampa Bay, he had the impossible task of replacing Tom Brady. Through four games, Mayfield is off to his best start as a pro. He's completed 69.6 percent of his attempts for 882 yards with seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. On top of that, his team is 3-1 and in first place — and that division isn't exactly dominant, so there's a good chance they remain there.
Addressing the Baker Mayfield confusion statement
The immediate response from several Browns fans will be that "Mayfield requested a trade," so that's why he's gone. Which is far from a complete answer.
While it's true he asked to be moved, this was only after the Browns went all out to land Deshaun Watson. By this point, Mayfield saw he wasn't in their future plans and felt it was best to move on. And eventually, Cleveland did trade him — but only long after they landed Watson.
In truth, he likely means he's not sure why he wasn't given a chance to get healthy and get back to the player we saw in 2020.
Having said all that, we're where we are and Cleveland believes they made the right call. So far, the jury is still out on Watson but he's shown the flashes that make us understand what the front office saw in him. If he can start to put those plays together more consistently, there won't be confusion from anyone any longer.