What Caused Baker Mayfield To Abandon The Browns?

American football quarterback Baker Mayfield was born on April 14, 1995. He plays for the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers (NFL). After playing for Texas Tech, Mayfield went on to play college football at Oklahoma, where he won the Heisman Trophy as a senior. In the 2018 NFL Draft, he was taken first overall by the Cleveland Browns.

In his debut, Mayfield not only ended the Browns’ 19-game losing streak but also set the rookie quarterback record for passing touchdowns. He guided the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and victory since 1994 in 2020, which was his most fruitful season. However, Mayfield was traded to the Panthers in 2022 as a result of his inconsistency on the field and disagreements with Brown’s management.

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Baker Mayfield(credits: yahoo! sports)

Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. A four-year rookie deal worth $32.68 million in guaranteed compensation was reached between Mayfield and the Browns on July 24, 2018.

An American football team called the Cleveland Browns is a professional club that plays its home games in Cleveland. They are named after its initial coach and co-founder, Paul Brown, and plays an associate club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division of the National Football League (NFL). The Browns’ administrative and training facilities are in Berea, Ohio, as is FirstEnergy Stadium, where they play their home games. The Browns’ official team colors are white, orange, and brown. They stand apart among the NFL’s 32-member franchises due to the lack of a logo on their helmets. 

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Cleveland Browns (credits: youtube)

The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) franchise was established in 1944 as a charter member by businessman Arthur B. McBride and Brown. It started playing in 1946. In each of the AAFC’s four seasons, the Browns won the league title and amassed a 47-4-3 record, dominating the league. The Browns, along with the original Baltimore Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, joined the NFL after the AAFC disbanded following the 1949 season. The Browns achieved an unparalleled feat in any of North America’s major professional sports by making an appearance in each of their first ten years, including a league championship game of existence, winning seven games. They won a championship in their first NFL season, as well as in 1954, 1955, and 1964.

Why did Baker Mayfield Leave The Browns?

Baker Mayfield went from being the first overall pick to being released by Cleveland in four short years. The Browns, who passed on the volatile quarterback months ago, eventually sold him to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday in exchange for a future draught pick. Mayfield was the first overall pick in 2018. Mayfield, who lost his starting job as a result of the Browns’ pursuit of Deshaun Watson, is heading to Carolina in exchange for a conditional draught pick in 2024 or 2025.

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Cleveland Brown (credits: CNN)

According to 2 people familiar with the negotiations, the Browns are covering $10.5 million of Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary for the upcoming season. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject, said the trade could not be completed until Mayfield passes a medical, said that the Panthers will pay $4.8 million and that Mayfield will take a $3.5 million pay reduction.

However, the Panthers, who will host the Browns in the season opener the next year with Mayfield’s addition spicing up the competition, made the announcement of the trade.

Mayfield’s time with the Browns came to an end in March when the team traded Watson to the Houston Texans for three first-round picks and six overall in exchange for Watson, who could be suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

After feeling misled by Cleveland’s decision to sign Watson, Mayfield, who missed most of the previous season due to a left shoulder injury, sought a trade. The Browns then had to wait until they found a team that was both interested in him and willing to take on his payroll.

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Cleveland Browns (credits: Forbes)

Mayfield was praised for his contributions by Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam.

They declared, “He gave everything he had for this organization and this city from the minute he was drafted. “He enthralled the fan base with his fiery competitive spirit and did things that no player at his position in Cleveland had done in a long time. He also had an effect in the neighborhood, whether it was by organizing activities at the Boys and Girls Club, paying tribute to our military, or helping the Special Olympics.

Sam Darnold, who was selected in the 2018 draught two picks after Mayfield, and the 27-year-old will compete for Carolina’s starting quarterback job. The Panthers have been searching for quarterback stability since head coach Matt Rhule was hired in 2020. The team has not made the playoffs since 2017. Earlier than Watson’s choice to sign with the Cleveland Browns, they pursued him as well.

As a result of his inability to end the team’s protracted search for a franchise quarterback, Mayfield’s four years with the Browns were more replete with annoying incidents than memorable ones. Too many controversies, too few victories, coaching changes, highs and lows, and all of these were present throughout the season.

In spite of having other options, like quarterback Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, former Browns general manager John Dorsey chose Oklahoma’s Mayfield as his first pick because of his skill and was won over by his confidence. In Week 3, Mayfield led the Browns off the bench to their first victory in 635 days, a 21-17 triumph over the New York Jets on national television. Mayfield had started his rookie season as Tyrod Taylor’s backup.

As a rookie, Mayfield ended up setting an NFL record for a quarterback by passing for 3,725 yards and attempting 27 touchdown passes. A struggling team that has had 32 starting quarterbacks since 1999 had a real reason for optimism for the first time in a long time.

Mayfield’s second season, however, was a colossal flop. He was on a different page than star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., throwing almost as many interceptions as touchdowns. Cleveland fired Freddie Kitchens as coach after going 6-10. In addition to battling with local reporters, Mayfield frequently debated with pundits who criticized his performance. His immaturity was most visible on social media, where he constantly offered corrections to critics.

Mayfield has guided the Browns to relevancy and a turnaround by bringing them to their first postseason appearance since 2003 in 2020. In his final 12 games, he had 20 touchdown passes and only three interceptions in the offense of first-year coach Kevin Stefanski. On January 10, 2021, Mayfield guided the Browns to their first-ever postseason victory over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers since 1994. A week later, before losing to Kansas City, Cleveland was mere minutes only one win away from advancing to the AFC championship game

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The Browns’ comeback sparked predictions that they would win the Super Bowl in 2021–2022, as well as rumors that they might sign quarterback Baker Mayfield to a long-term deal. Neither of these things occurred.

Mayfield’s late interception in the season opener against the Chiefs led to a disappointing loss for the Browns, and the following week, as he attempted to make a tackle, he tore the labrum in his left shoulder. A few weeks later, Mayfield was sacked by Arizona’s JJ Watt, exacerbating the injury, and the rest of the season saw him struggle to rediscover his rhythm. As a result of Beckham’s forced departure, the Browns finished with an 8-9 record and missed the playoffs. Mayfield raised some eyebrows by publicly criticizing Stefanski’s play-calling.

Mayfield did not make it to the end and had surgery shortly after. Mayfield was expected to return to the starting lineup in 2022, according to Brown’s general manager Andrew Berry, but the team’s pursuit of Watson changed everything. There has been a lot of talk about the Browns possibly turning to Mayfield as Watson’s legal saga has continued. The quarterback recently asserted, however, that he didn’t think reconciliation was feasible.

With him, they had longstanding issues.