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Baker Mayfield named PFWA Rookie of the Year

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Quarterback is the first Cleveland Browns player honored with the award.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was named the Pro Football Writers of America’s Rookie of the Year on Tuesday.

Mayfield is the first Browns player to be honored with the award, which has been presented on a mostly annual basis by the organization since 1966, when Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Tommy Nobis took home the honors.

Joining Mayfield on the All-Rookie team is cornerback Denzel Ward.

Mayfield threw for a team-record 3,725 yards in 2018, which is also the sixth-best mark by a rookie in NFL history. His 27 touchdown passes broke the rookie record of 26, which had been shared by Peyton Manning (1998 with the Indianapolis Colts) and Russell Wilson (2012 with the Seattle Seahawks).

The Browns offense and Mayfield took off once Freddie Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator midway through the season, which helped Mayfield become just the third quarterback in league history to throw at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 10 starts, finishing the season with a touchdown pass in each of the final 13 games and two or more touchdown passes in nine games overall.

Other highlights, according to the PFWA’s press release, include Mayfield:

  • leading all 2018 NFL rookies in passing yards, passing touchdown, completion percentage and passer rating (93.7)
  • being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 16
  • being named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month for November
  • throwing for a franchise rookie single-game record of 397 yards and a touchdown against the Houston Texans in Week 13
  • throwing for 351 yards in the second half against the Texans, becoming alone the first NFL quarterback since 2012 to hit that mark
  • throwing four touchdown passes against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, another franchise rookie record

Mayfield is also one of five finalists for the NFL’s fan-voted Rookie of the Year award, joining Browns running back Nick Chubb, running back Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, linebacker Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts, running back Phillip Lindsay of the Denver Broncos.