Baker Mayfield shares thoughts on facing Browns in Week 1
Baker Mayfield should not need any extra incentive to compete for a starting job with the Carolina Panthers, but he could not have asked for a better Week 1 opponent. That clearly is not lost on the former first overall pick.
If Mayfield is named Carolina’s starter in Week 1, he will have an opportunity to play against his former team. The Panthers host the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 11. Mayfield was asked about that in an interview with Darin Gantt of Panthers.com, and he did not exactly downplay the importance of it.
“I’m not going to sit here and be a robot and tell you that’s not one I’ve marked on the calendar already,” Mayfield said. “One, that’s not who I am. To me, it’s about winning games. Whoever we have marked on the schedule, I’m going to try to win. Obviously, this one has a little more history and personal meaning, but for me, it’s about winning and setting the tone for the rest of the year, and however I can help this team do that, I’m going to do.”
Gantt followed up by asking Mayfield if he is the type of person who holds grudges. Mayfield smiled and said “I try not to.”
Mayfield’s primary focus is on beating out Sam Darnold in training camp and the preseason. The main reason he wanted out of Cleveland is because he had no chance of starting after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson. It goes without saying that he will be motivated to prove something to his former team right out of the gate.
Mayfield was openly critical of the Browns for the way they handled his situation. Some players never have a chance to compete in a revenge game after they are traded or cut. Mayfield might be able to do that in his first meaningful contest with his new team. There is no sense pretending it is just another game.