Former OU quarterback Baker Mayfield speaks to the crowd at Owen Field on April 23 in Norman.

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Browns QB Baker Mayfield: Both sides ‘ready to move on’

Baker Mayfield says that he and the Cleveland Browns are both “ready to move on.”

The 27-year-old quarterback spoke with reporters Tuesday at his youth football camp in Norman, Okla.

Mayfield didn’t completely rule out a reconciliation if the NFL suspends his replacement, Deshaun Watson.

“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.”

Watson, 26, is scheduled to have a hearing with disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Tuesday.

The hearing will center on the 26 women who accused Watson of unwanted advances and inappropriate sexual conduct during massage appointments during his time with the Houston Texas.

The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans in a trade in March and gave him $230 million in guaranteed money on a five-year deal.

Mayfield has been excused from the Browns’ offseason activities while the team attempts to find a trade partner.

He is due a fully guaranteed salary of $18.86 million in 2022, the final season of his rookie contract.

Mayfield is 29-30 as a starter since the Browns made him the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field with the team before the game between the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Browns won’t cut Baker Mayfield if no trade partner found

The Cleveland Browns would rather live with the awkwardness of having quarterback Baker Mayfield on their 2022 roster than take the monumental salary-cap hit of releasing him.

Cleveland.com reported Sunday that if the Browns can’t find a trade partner for Mayfield, they will not cut him, even when training camp begins in July.

The Browns traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson in March and gave him a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract. But Watson remains under investigation by the NFL for numerous accusations of sexual misconduct and assault and could face a suspension in 2022.

Mayfield is fully guaranteed an $18.86 million salary in 2022, the final year of his rookie contract.

The Carolina Panthers discussed a Mayfield deal with the Browns, but multiple reports have said Carolina backed away from the table because the Browns were not willing to cover $13 million to $14 million of Mayfield’s 2022 salary.

Mayfield did not report to the Browns’ first voluntary program of the offseason last month. He said on a podcast appearance that he felt “disrespected 100 percent” by Cleveland when the team acquired Watson.

The Browns, who also signed quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs as backups, could be without Watson for a significant portion of 2022 if he is suspended. Two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson earlier this year, but 22 women whom he hired as massage therapists have filed civil lawsuits against him.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) talks with head coach Kevin Stefanski during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Browns coach on Baker Mayfield: ‘That’s a unique situation’

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski spoke about his two high-profile quarterbacks on Wednesday, albeit with only one is in attendance at the team’s voluntary offseason program.

Stefanski addressed the elephant in the room as it relates to Baker Mayfield, who is not at the Browns’ facility in Berea, Ohio.

“I’d tell you that’s a unique situation. It’s fluid. And we’ll just continue to work through it as we go each day,” Stefanski said. “It’s a voluntary program. What we won’t do is we won’t say who’s here, who’s not here. It’s voluntary. The guys that show up, we’re excited that they’re here. We’re excited to work with them.”

Mayfield, 27, was expected to be absent as he continues to rehab his surgically repaired labrum in his left non-throwing shoulder.

Mayfield, however, recently said on the “Ya Neva Know” podcast that he felt “disrespected 100 percent” by the Browns after the team deposed him as starting quarterback in favor of Deshaun Watson. Cleveland surrendered significant draft capital that included three first-round picks to acquire Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans on March 18.

Stefanski declined to address Mayfield’s comments on Wednesday, however.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of those types of things,” Stefanski said. “Again, it really is a unique situation and we’ll just work through it.”

As for Watson, Stefanski said he is being embraced by his new teammates so far.

“We’re in Day 2 of the offseason program, so it’s like any player on your team that is new that it takes time to develop relationships,” Stefanski said. “And I think now is that time.”

Watson, 26, didn’t play the 2021 season for the Texans. He demanded a trade, then faced civil lawsuits from 22 women who accused him of sexual misconduct. Prosecutors in Texas declined to file charges, but the civil suits are ongoing.

–Field Level Media

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA;  Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson attends Browns’ program, Baker Mayfield does not

Offseason acquisitions Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper attended the Cleveland Browns’ first voluntary offseason program on Tuesday in Berea, Ohio.

Watson, in fact, was spotted in a heavy winter jacket trudging through the snow — yes, snow in mid-April — to attend the program.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield, however, was not spotted at the team’s facility as he continues to rehab his surgically repaired labrum in his left non-throwing shoulder.

Mayfield recently said on the “Ya Neva Know” podcast that he felt “disrespected 100 percent” by the Browns after the team deposed him as starting quarterback in favor of Watson. Cleveland surrendered significant draft capital that included three first-round picks to acquire Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans on March 18.

The Browns since have signed backup quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs, leaving Mayfield in limbo. The team is sure to part ways with him soon, but he’s not sure of the how or the where.

Cleveland picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option for 2022 for $18.8 million. He was the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Last month, the Browns acquired Cooper and a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round selections.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield heads to the locker room following a 37-14 loss against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. Baker's streak of 53 consecutive starts will come to an end on Thursday as Case Keenum has been named the starter for the Browns' matchup against the Denver Broncos.

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Baker Mayfield: ‘I was told one thing and (Browns) completely did another’

Baker Mayfield made his first public comments since the Cleveland Browns deposed him as starting quarterback, saying he was “disrespected 100 percent” by the franchise.

Mayfield shared his thoughts about how injuries impacted his 2021 season and his up-and-down four years with the Browns on the “Ya Neva Know” podcast, released Wednesday.

He said he thought he’d return as the starter in 2022 based on comments made by general manager Andrew Berry, who said after the end of the season that he expected Mayfield would be their starter moving forward.

“We know his work ethic. We know his drive,” Berry said on Jan. 11. “We see him as a talented passer in this league. We expect him to bounce back next year.”

Then, on March 18, the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson, surrendering significant draft capital that included three first-round draft picks.

“I feel disrespected 100 percent because I was told one thing and they completely did another,” Mayfield, who turns 27 Thursday, said on the podcast. “That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what? OK. I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years, a bunch of different coordinators.”

The Browns since have signed backup quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs, leaving Mayfield in limbo. The Browns are sure to part ways with him soon, but he’s not sure of the how or the where.

The Browns picked up his fifth-year option for 2022 for $18.8 million; he was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft.

“I had great times my rookie year,” he said. “I didn’t start in the beginning. I came in and had fun in the back half of the year. 2019 sucked. 2020 was great, made the playoffs.

“2021 was miserable. I’m just looking for stabilization right now. I know what I need to do to be the best version of me and be able to lead an organization. I’m in a good place right now. I have no clue where I’m going.”

Mayfield played through a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder that has been surgically repaired since the end of the season. He also dealt with lower-body injuries (left heel, right knee, groin) throughout the season as the Browns finished 8-9 and out of the playoffs.

“I really, truly honesty have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give that place,” Mayfield said. “True Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that, and that’s why I can walk away from the whole situation feeling like I did it.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) talks with head coach Kevin Stefanski during the two-minute warning during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Browns hope Baker Mayfield situation ‘resolved soon’

With new quarterback Deshaun Watson signed, the Cleveland Browns hope to cut ties with predecessor Baker Mayfield shortly.

That’s what head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday at the NFL’s annual meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

“I think everyone understands the situation, and we’re hoping that it is resolved soon,” Stefanski said.

The Browns used the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Mayfield and picked up his fifth-year option at $18.86 million last April. The size of his guaranteed contract could be holding up a trade.

After a subpar 2021 season, in which Mayfield attempted to play through shoulder, heel, knee and groin injuries, the Browns engineered a blockbuster trade for Watson, which included sending three first-round draft picks to Houston.

They already signed Jacoby Brissett to back up Watson.

“It’s a unique situation,” Stefanski said. “We’ve got to see how it plays out. I think of all of us would love an answer yesterday, but that’s not the reality of it.”

The 26-year-old Mayfield is 29-30 as a starter with a 61.6 percent completion percentage, 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns to go with 56 interceptions.

Mayfield had 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions with 3,563 yards in 2020, and totaled 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and 3,010 yards in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rolls out of the pocket against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Deshaun Watson targets Browns, to get $230 million guaranteed

Deshaun Watson wants to play for the Cleveland Browns.

Multiple media outlets reported the Houston Texans quarterback plans to waive his no-trade clause in a bid to play for the Browns.

NFL Network and ESPN reported Watson would sign a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns once a potential deal comes to fruition. It would set a record for the most guaranteed money given to an NFL player.

Cleveland will send Houston three first-round picks and two other picks, likely a third and a fifth, multiple reports said.

Previous rumors said Watson had ruled Cleveland out and narrowed his list of desired destinations to the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.

The reports come one day after Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had asked for a trade. The Browns’ public courtship of Watson led Mayfield to post a thank you — and presumptive goodbye — note to fans Tuesday on social media.

Watson, who did not play last season after demanding a trade, coveted a fresh start. He was inactive every week, with the potential for criminal charges hanging over his head as more than 20 women accused him of sexual misconduct. He could face discipline from the NFL even without a conviction, with precedent in noteworthy cases including the six-game ban Ben Roethlisberger received in 2010, later reduced to four.

Watson remains the subject of civil lawsuits despite the grand jury’s decision in Harris County, Texas, declining to indict him on nine criminal complaints.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell repeatedly has said only that the league is closely monitoring the events related to the Watson case while conducting its own investigation.

Watson passed for a career-high 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2020 after signing a landmark contract extension with the Texans worth $156 million over four years.

Mayfield had 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions with 3,563 yards in 2020, and totaled 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and 3,010 yards in 2021.

He drew plenty of criticism for his play in 2021, including from the father of Odell Beckham Jr., who put out a video blasting Mayfield for failing to connect with the wide receiver on multiple occasions.

The Browns selected Mayfield, 26, with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. In 59 games as a starter, he’s 29-30, with a 61.6 completion percentage, 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns to go with 56 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field with the team before the game between the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield asks for trade; Browns reportedly decline

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has asked for a trade, but multiple outlets reported Thursday that the team doesn’t intend to honor the request.

The Browns’ public courtship of Houston Texas quarterback Deshaun Watson led Mayfield to post a thank you — and presumptive goodbye — note to fans Tuesday on social media. But on Thursday, reports indicated Watson won’t waive his no-trade clause for a move to Cleveland, leaving Mayfield as the Browns’ starter.

But that, apparently, isn’t what Mayfield wants.

“It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on,” Mayfield told ESPN. “The relationship is too far gone.”

That will depend on the Browns’ Plan B at quarterback after missing out on Watson. The Browns picked up his fifth-year contract option for 2022 with a guaranteed option that will pay him $18.86 million in 2022.

Mayfield had 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions with 3,563 yards in 2020, and totaled 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and 3,010 yards in 2021.

He drew plenty of criticism for his play in 2021, including from the father of Odell Beckham Jr., who put out a video blasting Mayfield for failing to connect with the wide receiver on multiple occasions.

The Browns selected Mayfield, 26, with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. In 59 games as a starter, he’s 29-30, with a 61.6 completion percentage, 14,125 yards and 92 touchdowns to go with 56 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field following an interception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

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Baker Mayfield hints at goodbye in letter to Cleveland

Baker Mayfield ended his social-media silence Tuesday night to write an open letter to Cleveland Browns fans with language that sounded much like a goodbye note.

The letter came on the same day that Browns executives flew to Houston to meet with quarterback Deshaun Watson in hopes of luring him to Cleveland.

Mayfield, 26, has spent four seasons with the Browns since being selected No. 1 overall in 2018 out of Oklahoma. He prefaced his note by saying, “With many uncertainties, here is where my head and heart is.”

He attached the following letter:

“Cleveland,

“The past 4 years have been nothing short of truly life changing since I heard my name called in the draft to go to Cleveland. This is not a message with hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me. We have made many memories and shared growing in this process through all the ups and downs. I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process. I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God’s plan throughout this process.

“I have given this franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap. Whatever happens… I just want to say thank you to the fans who truly embraced who I am and the mentality that aligned so well with this city’s hard working people. Cleveland will always be a part of Emily and my story. And we will always be thankful for the impact it has had and will have in our lives.

“Sincerely,

“Baker Reagan Mayfield.”

If Mayfield is traded, he reportedly would prefer to go to the Indianapolis Colts. He has posted a 29-30 record in four seasons with the Browns, during which he has passed for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions. He also has rushed for 571 yards and five touchdowns.

Watson is not guaranteed to land with the Browns. Other teams such as the New Orleans Saints are considered to have a strong chance to acquire him.

However, according to Cleveland.com, the Browns could look to trade Mayfield either way “because of the awkward nature of returning to a team that tried to replace him.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field with the team before the game between the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns QB Baker Mayfield taking hiatus from social media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, a lightning rod for criticism in the 2021 season, said he’s taking a break from social media.

He made the announcement Tuesday night in an Instagram story.

“Getting off all social media for the foreseeable future,” the 26-year-old Mayfield wrote. “Gotta do what’s best to focus on me, my family and loved ones. Appreciate all the support. Time to get right.”

Mayfield recently underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder that hampered him much of the season. A week ago, he posted a video to Instagram saying the surgery “went great” and that he’d be working hard in his rehabilitation.

“It’s one of these steps to get back to my true self,” he said. “This past year hasn’t been very easy. A lot of stuff has gone down and it wasn’t easy for me or my family.”

Just three days ago, after commenting on Sunday’s football playoff games on Twitter, he alluded to his pending social media sidestep.

“Nevertheless… social media is toxic. Always kept my circle tight,” he wrote. “Time to get back to that. Family and loved ones only.”

Mayfield took a heap of negative comments on social media for his play this season as the Browns, a preseason darling, finished tied for last place in the AFC North. They saw themselves eclipsed in the state of Ohio by the Cincinnati Bengals and quarterback Joe Burrow, who will lead his team in the AFC title game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

FanDuel picked the Browns as +1600 favorites to win the Super Bowl and the Bengals near last in the NFL at +12000.

While also playing through a knee injury, Mayfield posted the lowest totals in his four-year career in completions (253), yards (3,010) and touchdowns (17). He threw 13 interceptions and was 6-8 as a starter, missing three games.

The Browns finished 8-9 on the season.

The Browns picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option but have yet to commit to an extension.

–Field Level Media