Baker Mayfield hints he would be open to staying with Browns?
The NFL is reportedly seeking to suspend Deshaun Watson for at least the entire 2022 season, which would leave the Cleveland Browns without their new starting quarterback. Their previous starting quarterback remains on the roster, of course, and many are wondering if he would want to keep the job for another year.
Baker Mayfield requested a trade from the Browns as soon as they showed interest in acquiring Watson. No deal has gotten close, in large part because of Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary. At Mayfield’s youth camp on Tuesday, Carey Murdock of SoonerScoop.com asked the former first overall pick if he would be open to starting for the Browns this season should Watson be suspended. Mayfield’s response may surprise you.
“I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out,” Mayfield said. “But we’re ready to move on, I think, on both sides.”
That is not exactly a firm “no.” Mayfield’s response seemed to indicate that he has not totally closed the door on reconciling, at least temporarily. You can see the full context below:
Baker Mayfield answered the question everyone wants to know: If DeShaun Watson is suspended, could he return to Cleveland in 2022? Here's his answer from his youth camp Tuesday in Norman. (via @CareyAMurdock, @Eddie_Rado) pic.twitter.com/ASNY5b8kdO
— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) June 28, 2022
While Mayfield has publicly unloaded on the Browns on more than one occasion, staying in Cleveland may provide him with his best path to a starting job next season. We know one NFC team that is still expressing interest, but there does not appear to be much urgency.
If Watson is suspended and Mayfield can swallow his pride, he might have an opportunity to prove he is capable of playing at a high level before hitting free agency. The Browns may also be open to the arrangement, as Mayfield knows the offense and should be healthier than he was last season. Mayfield’s comments on Tuesday seemed like an acknowledgement that he has not ruled it out.