INDIANAPOLIS — The Cleveland Browns are in an odd spot to completely allow themselves to immerse into the quarterback market. While the team is undoubtedly talented, they also lack a certain juice from the quarterback position. That means all things circle back around to Baker Mayfield.
While there was little question that Mayfield struggled in 2021, his past years have shown promise that quarterbacks need to show. For the Browns and general manager Andrew Berry. they can not forget that. While Mayfield still has his warts, they are fully behind him as the likely starter in 2022.
“We have seen Baker play at a playoff level before in this league,” Berry said. “Now, he had some struggles last season, but he was also injured. This was the first surgery he’s ever had in his life. I was there talking to him after he had surgery, and he was in good spirits. He’s on track with his recovery. We think Baker has a lot of good football in him.”
Berry noted that they will try to upgrade the team in any way possible. The opportunistic nature of the job is something that Berry embraces, and the quarterback is no exception to that rule. However, Mayfield is likely the starter for Cleveland in 2022, as expected.
But Mayfield is also entering the final season of his rookie contract, and is expected to earn $18.9 million through the fifth-year option that Cleveland has already exercised. A starting quarterback playing on an expiring contract could be an uneasy situation, meaning that the Browns may need to make a decision about Mayfield’s long-term future, as well as his short-term future, as well.
A contract extension with Mayfield could cost the Browns in the range of $30 million per year, which is what the Tennessee Titans re-signed starter Ryan Tannehill for two years ago.