The Cleveland Browns Continue To Mismanage The Baker Mayfield Situation

Baker Mayfield

Love him or hate him, Baker Mayfield moves the needle. Win or lose, the Browns’ quarterback will be a topic of discussion on every sports talk show come Monday morning.

Entering the 2021 season, the Browns picked up Mayfield’s 5th-year option for 2022, but could not reach a long-term extension. Due to his subpar performance this year, deciding not to extend Mayfield may have been the smart decision in the long run.

Mayfield has done nothing this season to convince the Browns to give him an extension. Mayfield deserves a lot of the criticism thrown his way. The 6-6 Browns boast a roster that could make a Super Bowl, but a quarterback with 2400 yards, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs won’t lead to a Lombardi Trophy.

Coming out of Oklahoma, Baker’s biggest strength was his accuracy, compiling a completion percentage of 70.0 or better in his final two seasons. 70% would be hard to replicate in the NFL, but in his four years with the Browns, Mayfield has a 61.9 completion percentage. This year, Mayfield ranks 27th in completion percentage for quarterbacks who have started at least four games.

No quarterback other than Lamar Jackson receives more criticism than Mayfield. If players don’t get the ball, it’s always Baker’s fault. Just look at the Odell Beckham Jr. saga as an example. At least Lamar is criticized by personalities that cover the sport. Mayfield has to deal with the parents of his teammates making Facebook statuses and IG videos. If you thought helicopter parents disappeared in professional sports, just ask the fathers of OBJ and Kareem Hunt what they think of Mayfield.

Baker Mayfield is a problem on the field, but the Browns did him no favors whatsoever. The majority of the blame should be pointed at Kevin Stefanski, Andrew Berry, and the Cleveland Browns front office.

Mayfield is not fully healthy. The Browns’ quarterback has a torn labrum and fractured humerus bone in his non-throwing shoulder. It will require surgery at the end of the season with a recovery period of 4-6 months. On top of these injuries, Mayfield also has dealt with a knee contusion and a bruised heel.

As a fierce competitor, no one can question Baker’s toughness. He’s playing through a lot of pain, and you can see his grimaces during the games these past couple of weeks.

Despite these injuries, the Browns decided to still trot Mayfield out at less than 100% health. Baker might say he’s good to go, but he continued to limp after every big hit or scramble this past Sunday night. Why was he playing in the first place?

The Browns had a chance to rest their quarterback after suffering a knee contusion in a blowout loss against the Patriots. Instead, Baker hobbled his way to a 16-13 victory over the winless Lions and a 16-10 loss to the Ravens. Ask yourself this question: If Case Keenum started the past two games, what would the results be?

I’m a gambling man, and I bet 90% of people would say the team would go 1-1 with Keenum, which is exactly what Baker did. Had the Browns elected to sit Baker the last two weeks with a bye this week, he would’ve had three full weeks of rest. Instead, he has one week to deal with his lingering issues before facing the Ravens at home on Dec. 12.

Here’s the bigger problem with what the Browns have done to Mayfield. With extension talks expected to restart in the offseason, how can they fairly evaluate their injured quarterback for the rest of the season? If Mayfield struggles the remaining five games, he will blame his injured left shoulder for his poor play, which is a valid reason. The Browns had a chance to sit Mayfield for three weeks and give him the best chance at a fair evaluation for five games. Instead, Baker will have one week of rest before facing the same Ravens team that held the Browns to a season-low 40 yards rushing.

The Browns had a chance to get Baker as healthy as he’ll be all season with multiple weeks of rest. By skipping over this opportunity, it could cost them not only their quarterback’s trust in the organization but more importantly, a playoff berth.

Do you agree with the Browns’ handling of Baker Mayfield? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield vs Media: Real Hate Against Oklahoma QBs

NFL quarterback Oklahoma Heisman winner Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield NFL Charley Casserly

It’s not a surprise when Big 12 quarterbacks make headlines in NFL discussions, but for Oklahoma quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, there’s an NFL trend that’s becoming quite alarming. When former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield declared for the NFL Draft, he was met with heavy criticism. Some analysts were discussing the drama surrounding […]

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Baker Mayfield: How Cleveland Rocked For (At Least) One Night

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield Mania has arrived.

For the first time since 2015, the Cleveland Browns were the betting favorite at home against the New York Jets. This was the same Cleveland Browns team that had not won a game since December 24, 2016. Optimism was high, but throughout most of the first half, the execution was nonexistent. Isaiah Crowell summed up the Browns first half with his touchdown celebration.

On offense, Tyrod Taylor was a mess. Taylor could not get anything going and late in the second quarter; he had only completed 4 passes on 19 attempts for 19 yards. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Unfortunately, to make matters worse for Taylor, he had to leave the game late in the second quarter with a head injury.

I knew what time it was, you knew what time it was, and the entire city of Cleveland knew what time it was because number six was about to enter the game.

It was Baker time.

From his first throw, the game changed dramatically as Baker Mayfield fired a rocket to Jarvis Landry over the middle.

The drive ended with a field goal, and at the half, it was 14-3. In my mind, I knew this game was about to change because the number one pick was now in at quarterback. The relaxed and methodical Taylor was replaced with the fiery underdog that fans fell in love with at Oklahoma. Mayfield has always shined when the lights are brightest and boy, did he deliver.

When Carlos Hyde punched in his second touchdown of the game to take the lead, listen to the Cleveland crowd erupt. This reaction has not been heard in that stadium for well over two decades.

When all was said and done, the beer coolers were opened up in Cleveland because for the first time in almost two years; the Browns won a game with the final score of 21-17. Mayfield finished the night with 17 completions on 23 attempts for just over 200 yards, but it was his energy and leadership that stood out. Mayfield is the type of quarterback that thrives under pressure. Just by watching the game, you could see that Mayfield injected the entire Browns roster with a much-needed boost of charisma and swagger. The way Mayfield carried himself on the field is something that a veteran would do, not a rookie.

Put aside what you thought about the quarterbacks going into last year’s draft regarding talent. Look at each quarterback by their attitude and intangibles. There’s only one quarterback that fits the mold of the Cleveland Browns, and that’s Baker Mayfield. Mayfield has always had a chip on his shoulder his whole life. Mayfield was a walk-on not once, but twice in college. Despite winning 34/40 games at Oklahoma and the Heisman trophy, scouts still doubted Mayfield’s ability in the NFL because of his size and strength. This grit and tenacity are exactly what the city of Cleveland represents. It’s a blue-collar, “bring your lunch pale to work” type of city full of hardworking people. That is the epitome of Baker Mayfield.

I understand that this was one game and that one game does not make up for all of the heartbreak and disappointment that Browns’ fans have experienced over the years. That being said, Mayfield gave Browns fans something to cheer about for at least one night. He gave them someone to believe in on the football field. Is Mayfield the savior of the Browns? Only time will tell, but if history repeats itself, don’t doubt Mayfield.