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#pounditWednesday, December 1, 2021

ESPN analysts make bold predictions about Baker Mayfield’s future with Browns

Baker Mayfield

Even after last week’s embarrassing loss to the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns still control their own playoff destiny. The Browns will reach the postseason if they can defeat the Mason Rudolph-led Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. If they don’t, at least two former players believe Baker Mayfield will be on borrowed time in Cleveland.

Former NFL linebackers and current ESPN analysts Bart Scott and Rob Ninkovich said on “Get Up!” Friday that they believe Mayfield will have one more season at most with the Browns if the team loses to Pittsburgh and misses the playoffs.

“Could you imagine losing to the Jets and then losing to (the Steelers) to not get into the playoffs? … This is gonna be huge for him in terms of getting his fifth-year option picked up,” Scott said. “Baker’s gonna have to show up and show that he’s a franchise quarterback. If not, there’s gonna be questions in Cleveland.”

Ninkovich was even more confident, and the former New England Patriot thinks last week’s performance will be at the forefront of Mayfield’s mind on Sunday.

“When you have a letdown like they did against the Jets and you put it in Baker’s hands and he’s not able to come through, he’s thinking about that going into this football game,” Ninkovich said. “If he loses this game and they’re out of the playoffs, they’re not giving him that fifth-year option. See you later, man.”

Mayfield completed 28-of-53 passes for 285 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the 23-16 loss to the Jets. He also took four sacks, but his most costly mistake was losing a fumble on a bizarre play toward the end of the game. You can see the video of the play here.

The best way to describe Mayfield’s play this year would be inconsistent. The Browns have to make a decision on his fifth-year option this offseason, so it will certainly be something to watch.

You can hear the full remarks from both Scott and Ninkovich below:

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