Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield - yes, he is still on the roster - appeared on the Ya Neva Know: You Know What I Mean podcast in an episode that was released Wednesday and the world did not fall off its axis.
Mayfield hit on a variety of topics starting with his college days at Oklahoma and continuing through his four years as the starting quarterback for the Browns.
There were no bombshell revelations during the episode, which ran for one hour and 33 minutes, and the fan and media reaction is wholly based on how anyone felt about Mayfield before hearing the interview.
Still, we have a job to do so here are some of the takeaways as the days grow short on Mayfield’s tenure in Cleveland.
Mayfield, like everyone else involved, has no idea what will come next, but he is ready to move on, with the Seattle Seahawks being “probably the most likely option” as a preferred next destination (quote via NFL.com):
“I’m ready for the next chapter, the next opportunity because the only one I’m guaranteed with the next spot is one year. I have one more year of a guaranteed contract. I have one year wherever I go, and it’s my next interview. It’s something to put on my résumé for the next job, whether it be I play that year wherever it’s gonna be and they extend me for longer or if it’s that year and I get picked up somewhere else. I know I have this one year to do as much as I possibly can. It’s not extra pressure. It’s just … I’ve been here before. I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”
While general manager Andrew Berry would likely disagree, Mayfield said he felt “disrespected” by the way the team handled its communication with him while pursuing quarterback Deshaun Watson (quote via The Beacon Journal):
“I feel disrespected 100% because I was told one thing and they completely did another. That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what? OK. I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years, a bunch of different coordinators. I’ve had the highs, and they always come back.”
Mayfield got off to a solid start in 2021 as the Browns looked to return to the playoffs. But he suffered a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder in Week 2, then broke a bone in the same shoulder in Week 6. While he continued to play - missing just the Week 7 game because it was on a short week - and everyone claiming throughout the season that he was healthy enough, Mayfield said the injuries took a toll on him (quote via ESPN.com):
“I was trying to be tough and fight through it, but then physically I wasn’t as capable of doing what I would normally [do]. When I wasn’t performing on the field, that’s when it really started to go downhill. Because I can tough it out, I don’t care, I’m not going to complain about it, like everybody is banged up. But then when it started hindering my play and going downhill, that’s when I was like, oh s***
“That’s when I started losing my own self-confidence and losing myself. This past year was rough. It was. It was rough on me, my family. It sucked because I knew what I could be doing, but I physically wasn’t in a state to do it.”
After everything he went through - from setting the record for touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback to helping the Browns win a playoff game for the first time since 1994, having to deal with Hue Jackson and Freddie Kitchens as head coaches, and the mess that was the 2021 season, Mayfield said he does not regret the past four seasons (quote via cleveland.com):
“I really, truly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give that place. True Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that. And that’s why I can walk away from the whole situation feeling like I did it.’’
At this point, there is not much left to say. Browns fans saw all the highs and the lows of Mayfield as a quarterback, the team has moved on, and all that is left to do is wait to see where Mayfield will be playing next season.