Baker Mayfield says he’s being pressured to attend draft


Former Oklahoma quarterback and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield made it clear in February that he won’t be attending the NFL draft. The NFL apparently isn’t taking “I won’t be attending” for an answer.

Appearing on SiriusXM’s Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, Mayfield said he’s being pressured to show up. Here’s the full exchange on the issue of the draft, as distributed by SiriusXM.

 Q: “Will you be there for the draft?”

Mayfield: “I will not. I will be at home in Austin, Texas, with my family and some former coaches.”

Q: “That’s up to you, right?”

Mayfield: “It is.”

Q: “Obviously they would want you there, right?”

Mayfield: “Oh yes, there’s pressure being put on that decision, for sure.”

Mayfield doesn’t specify who “they” is. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a formal invitation wasn’t extended to Mayfield due to his prior statement that he won’t be showing up.

Of course, that doesn’t keep someone/anyone connected to the draft from trying to persuade one of its biggest stars to show up. And the players have every right to not show up, especially since they don’t receive an appearance fee or anything other than travel expenses and the ability to bring certain people along, a group that now includes their high-school head coaches.

At its core, the draft is a gathering centered around reading off a list of names. It loses a lot of its luster if the players whose names are read say, “We’re not showing up.” If enough of them did, all of them would eventually get fairly compensated to be part of the ultimate reality show’s ultimate reality show.

17 responses to “Baker Mayfield says he’s being pressured to attend draft

  1. If Mayfield showed up, security probably wouldn’t let him in anyway.

    “Sorry kid, this is a private event for NFL personal and future NFL players. There might be some room at the very back, top row, but a short kid like you wouldn’t be able to see much….”

  2. The NFL will be sad when lots of stars stop attending the draft. On the other hand many will still attend.
    What would be cool is if impostors attend in their place. See if anyone notices.

  3. Don’t give in Baker, surround yourself with your family and friends. Those are the folks that love and support you and will be there through thick and thin. Call up Joe Thomas and ask him about attending the draft.

  4. The draft is more about getting a bunch of people ferried onto the stage and having us wait until they all get situated until one of them reads off a pick. It’s special interest city.

    You have ex-players, special interest groups of twenty or more people, and even live via skype or something a fan reading off the name.

    This part of it is so bad. Just get one person to read them off (if they want to switch every round fine), and do it in a timely manner. It so artificially drags on. Five picks later found on the internet and people are still walking on stage.

    If players don’t want attend, that’s fine with me. Often times these people have close to live shot cameras in their homes where you can see the families reaction. That’s good enough.

    Mr. Irrelevant is fine, it’s the last pick.

    Overall it should be more low key and personable. Have some waiters/waitresses taking food orders, and show the draftees and their families eating and stuff.

    I want to see the OL’men hogging down a couple dozen wings with sauce all over their hands and cheeks, and pizza stains on their $10,000 suits. Or better yet, just get a cheaper decent one. It would also help foster a less tense atmosphere.

    Also if you want to personalize the draft to the local, it would help by showing off various themes. In NY pizza and hot dogs, Philly – cheesteaks, Chicago – Chicago style pizza and sausages, Dallas – bbq, steak, etc. Of course have other foods, but they could show these things being made. All free for the draftees/families. Make it a fun and socialable time.

    Why the NFL simply doesn’t rent out a nearby hotel for the players is baffling. Shuttle service instead of limos. It also would help start their career off without as much need for borrowing tons of money from agents to fund ‘the lifestyle’ right off the bat.

    By the time the rookie symposium happens, many are already in debt to their agents.

    The draft itself basically reinforces the bling bling culture they shouldn’t be engaging in. It’s focus is all wrong.

  5. I don’t watch the draft because I want to see a bunch of uncomfortable rookies cross the stage and get hugged by Goodell. Maybe that’s just me.

  6. If you don’t want to go, Baker, do not give in. Whether or not you go will make zero difference to where you get drafted or how much money you will make.

  7. Option 1: Sitting at a round uncomfortable banquet table with a bunch of TV cameras in your face

    Option 2: Stay at home in TX, have a kickass BBQ, enjoy the moment, celebrate going from walk-on to a 1st round pick with family & friends.

    Option 2 seems more appealing…

  8. I get the NFL wanting Baker there because he is one of the stars. They begged him to attend the Senior Bowl to help bring interest to the event as well. I would tell them pay me or take my answer. How one wants to spend one of the biggest moments in their lives is up to them. I would spend it with family as they would all be benefiting from my fortune.

  9. I stopped watching the draft since they started the Thursday night format. The NFL has taken all the fun out of the draft since they stopped doing rounds 1-3 on Saturday and the rest on Sunday in New York. It was a tradition that now has been turned into the Roger Goodell reality show. Good for Mayfield for staying away.

  10. How Mayfield is not the top rated qb blows my mind. I believe he threw for almost twice the number of tds the “top” guys had with the same amount or less interceptions. Just watching those other guys play this year was dreadful!!

  11. Announce the pick, have the talking heads explane how the pick either benefits the team or how the team missed! The draft has gone to far in the gimmicks! …maybe the colts monkey can host!

  12. Mayfield doesn’t specify who “they” is.
    Yes, he did. He said it was Gil Brandt who 1) does not work for the NFL and 2) has denied pressuring Mayfield.

  13. I can’t wait for the draft every year, say what you will, the NFL has made it a fun event by reformatting it to last all weekend. As far as the players choice in attending that’s cool, whatever they are happy with doing is cool with me. I don’t really need them to walk across the stage, hold up the jersey and hug the commish as I’m more interested in seeing highlights if the player but I get it. It’s just a very cool moment for that player and his family and I don’t judge on how they want to spend it. It’s easy to dig at goodwill for many things but he has simply nailed how awesome the NFL draft is and has maximized the interest of the casual fan.

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