Baker Mayfield’s days with the Cleveland Browns are numbered, as they have been ever since the organization traded three first-round picks for quarterback Deshaun Watson in March.
Speaking with reporters at his youth football camp in Norman, Oklahoma, the former Sooners quarterback explained that Cleveland would need to make the first step towards a potential reconciliation.
“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.”
Mayfield’s $18.86 million fully-guaranteed fifth-year option was exercised by the Browns in April of 2021 and will be a free agent following the 2022 season. If Cleveland can’t trade Mayfield, the Browns will be stuck with the entirety of his contract this season.
His future remains uncertain with Watson and free agent acquisition Jacoby Brissett new to the quarterback room. Mayfield was excused from the team’s offseason training program.
“I think I got frustrated with it not happening before minicamp and all those things,” Mayfield said. “That’s the stuff that’s out of my control. Let those things happen and fall into place. Right now I’m just controlling what I can.”
Cleveland is still committed to Watson despite 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits, 20 of them settled, and the possibility of a major suspension.
The Browns finished 6-9 in 2021 and missed the playoffs despite lofty expectations. Battling a shoulder injury for most of the season, Mayfield threw for a career-low 3,010 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
His best season was in 2020, finishing 11-5 and knocking the Steelers out of the playoffs in the Wild Card Round at Heinz Field. The victory marked Cleveland’s first appearance in the playoffs since 2002 and first win dating back to 1994, prior to the franchise moving to Baltimore.
The Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers remain two of the most prevalent teams in contention for Mayfield with uncertain futures at the game’s most important position.