There is an old saying about NFL quarterbacks - they get too much credit when the team wins and too much blame when they lose.
When it comes to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, you can add it that everything he says will be over-scrutinized.
Mayfield, who is the leader of a Browns team that the rest of the NFL is suddenly very afraid of, was the subject of a GQ magazine* profile that hit the Internet on Tuesday. In it, Mayfield talks about overcoming doubts about his height, his doubters and other obstacles to win the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma, become the No. 1-overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, and help turn the Browns into the one of the league’s top attractions.
During the interview at a Cleveland restaurant, Mayfield noticed a SportsCenter segment playing on a nearby TV and uttered a few sentences that set the NFL world abuzz:
“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones. Blows my mind. Some people overthink it. That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”
Mayfield wasn’t saying anything that just about everyone other than Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur have said since the Giants inexplicably selected Jones with the sixth overall selection of the 2019 NFL Draft.
But since it was Mayfield, it became a big deal and triggered people across the land.
“Patrick Mahomes’ NFL record, he’s a winner... 6-7 is Baker Mayfield’s record, he is some winner.”@ColinCowherd wants to see the Browns QB prove it on the field following Daniel Jones comments pic.twitter.com/jJlA5dc5yf— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 20, 2019
Oh boy, Baker Mayfield is at it again. Just can’t help himself. And Antonio Brown isn’t winning his grievance https://t.co/WwecvWoH3H— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 20, 2019
Hard to believe anybody cares about what Baker Mayfield says.— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) August 20, 2019
Mayfield eventually took to Instagram to explain what he really was saying, according to NFL.com:
“This is not what I said, just so we’re clear. I also said I was surprised I got drafted No. 1. Then was talking about the flaws in evaluating QBs. Where i brought up winning being important. Reporters and media will do anything to come up with a click bait story. Heard nothing but good things and wish nothing but the best for Daniel.”
In the same GQ profile, head coach Freddie Kitchens did a perfect job of summing up Mayfield:
“A lot of people in the world today, they don’t like the truth. They’d rather you just tell them something that they want to hear. Baker’s not going to be like that. He’s just going to tell you like it is. It’s your problem if you don’t like it. It’s not his.”
Kitchens could have just as easily been talking about the Browns team. The rest of the NFL is scared of what the Browns are building and they absolutely dislike that Mayfield is the one leading the charge.
But to paraphrase Kitchens said, that’s their problem, not the Browns.
*Has there ever been an NFL team profiled as much by GQ magazine as the 2019 Browns?