Recent Baker Mayfield announcement part of evolution on and off the field

Baker Mayfield's recent announcement is the latest in a series of life changes in the past year
Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Cleveland Browns fans remember their playoff quarterbacks. Along with Joe Flacco in 2023, Baker Mayfield led the 2020 team to the playoffs in an improbable COVID-19 season filled with thrills and disappointments.

Mayfield's Cleveland career ended after a lackluster and injury-laden 2021 season. The stability he enjoyed as the franchise's overall No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and front-man in the Cleveland community and on the Progressive 'At Home with Baker Mayfield' commercials was gone.

2022 sent him to Carolina and the Los Angeles Rams mid-season, searching for an NFL QB job after his fifth-year option ended. He ended up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the man to attempt to fill the GOAT Tom Brady's shoes. Mayfield took the Bucs to the playoffs in 2023 on a one-year deal which was good enough to earn him an extension and a new long-term NFL home in Tampa. With stability on the field, Baker and his wife Emily announced they were expecting their first child.

Emily Mayfield gives birth days before Baker Mayfield turns 29

Baker Mayfield got the ultimate birthday present five days before he turned 29 on April 14. His daughter Kova Jade Mayfield was born on April 9 around 7:30 PM. Weighing it at nine pounds and two ounces, Kova joins Baker, Emily, and their beloved dog Fergus who is reportedly gentle with the baby.

Mayfield is now a girl-dad, another step in his evolution in the past year. He has already embraced his role evidenced by a photograph of him holding his daughter while lovingly looking at her with Fergus nearby.

Mayfield has been criticized by some and adored by others for the perceived chip-on-his-shoulder and swagger on the field. Will this soften his football demeanor, or further inspire him to be the Mayfield who famously irked many by planting the Oklahoma flag midfield at Ohio State in 2017?

Parenthood may change Mayfield, but it will not ease his competitive spirit or his love of Oklahoma football. He's immortalized at Oklahoma's Heisman Park with his statue revealed in 2022.

As for his years with the Browns, even time has settled the heated emotions he and Browns fans felt during his exit from Cleveland. He will always be a part of Browns' history, and many fans will not forget that magical 2020 season until perhaps the team finally gets its long overdue Super Bowl Championship.

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