A year after the Browns thrust then-rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer into a Week One starting role, the Browns appear intent to do the opposite, keeping quarterback Baker Mayfield on ice for as long as possible.
If that’s the plan, Mayfield is making it easier to implement. Here’s an assessment of the competition, if there is one, between Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor, from Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “This is where I tell you that, based on the six practices of OTAs and minicamp that were open to the media, Mayfield did not look ready to compete with Taylor for the No. 1 quarterback job.”
Of course, Mayfield has a habit of taking over quickly, like he did as a walk on at Texas Tech and then as a transfer at Oklahoma. And if Mayfield somehow becomes the clear-cut best option in Cleveland, the Browns may have no choice but to play him.
The deck seems to be stacked in Taylor’s favor, however. And here’s another possible reason for it, one that won’t get mentioned during many/any press conferences: G.M. John Dorsey may be betting on someone other than Hue Jackson coaching the team next year, and Dorsey may want Mayfield to be handled not by Jackson but by his successor.
Regardless, Mayfield was picked to be the long-term starter. Whether that includes short-term remains to be seen.