Drew Brees says Baker Mayfield “can be a lot better than me”

Getty Images

Drew Brees will likely become the NFL’s all-time leading passer before the end of the 2018 season. He’s also within striking distance of Peyton Manning’s record passing touchdowns record as well.

So when Brees said on Wednesday that he believes Cleveland Browns rookie Baker Mayfield could be better than him, it stands as pretty lofty praise.

I think he can be a lot better than me,” Brees said of Mayfield on a conference call with Cleveland reporters, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN.com.

Mayfield isn’t expected to start this season for the Browns as the team intends to give him a year to sit and learn behind Tyrod Taylor. That plan could, of course, be thwarted by injuries or desperation to spark something offensively with a quarterback change. Nevertheless, Brees – whose Saints play the Browns in New Orleans this Sunday – was highly complimentary of the No. 1 overall pick.

“Man, he’s got all the tools,” Brees said. “He’s more athletic. He probably can run around better. He’s got a stronger arm.

“I followed his college career,” he added. “Couldn’t have been more impressed with what he was able to accomplish, especially last year. Really impressed with the way he plays the game. I think he’s a great competitor.”

Brees has thrown for 70,884 yards and 491 touchdowns in his 18-year NFL career. He’s just over 1,000 yards behind Manning for the all-time passing yardage mark and 48 touchdowns behind Manning for the passing touchdowns record.

Brees’ bar is an incredibly high one. If Mayfield’s career puts him anywhere near the same zip code as Brees when his career is finished, it will be quite the accomplishment.