Report: Some Browns players didn’t like Baker Mayfield’s comments on Duke Johnson

AP

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had some strong public comments last week for running back Duke Johnson. Multiple teammates reportedly had some strong private comments for Mayfield.

According to Mike Silver of NFL Media, “several veteran Browns players” approached Mayfield “to register their displeasure.” Silver says that the players and Mayfield “hashed out their differences.”

Johnson has been asking for a trade, and he skipped voluntary offseason workouts in order to express his displeasure with his status, given the presence of Nick Chubb and the offseason signing of Kareem Hunt. Said Mayfield at the team’s mandatory minicamp (which Johnson attended): “If we have guys that want to be here, they’ll show that, they’ll voice that. Obviously he’s going to handle his stuff how he wants, but you’re either on this train or you’re not, it’s moving. You can get out of the way or you can join us, so it is what it is.”

The comments were more confusing than offensive, because Johnson wants to get off the train. And for good reason. He’s due to make $1.6 million this year, and the Browns need him given that Hunt will miss the first eight games of the season. Come next year, however, Johnson’s salary doubles to $3.6 million. And the Browns will be less likely to keep him.

So Johnson is pushing the issue now, hopeful for a trade to a team where he can prove his worth for 2020, because next year his contract becomes far less attractive for trade purposes.

Veteran players took some offense because Mayfield came dangerously close to getting in between a teammate and his financial arrangements, under the guise of the kind of rah-rah stuff that simply doesn’t apply to the NFL like it does to college and high school football.

The best news for the Browns is that things were quickly hashed out between Mayfield and his veteran teammates. Mayfield is still young and learning, but he has the ability to connect with his teammates in a unique way, and he surely used that charisma to work through the concerns that were brought to him. The mere fact that teammates felt comfortable raising the concerns shows that there’s already a special relationship between Mayfield and his teammates.

77 responses to “Report: Some Browns players didn’t like Baker Mayfield’s comments on Duke Johnson

  1. Then they can get off the train too.

    I loved what Mayfield said. It showed great leadership for a young kid.

    Not a Browns fan on any level, but I’m excited to see what Baker becomes as a pro.

  2. So much attention.
    So minuscule accomplished.
    Until they win a few games, they are still Brownin’..

  3. Baker Mayfield is the most interesting player in the NFL.

    He could either be a big-time somebody in this league or he could flame out by the time his rookie deal is over.

    We haven’t seen a QB like this since RG3 but RG3’s rapid demise was mostly injury related (he was a jerk too and so was Manziel but Manziel’s demise was mostly drug related).

    This guy’s demise could be solely stupidity related.

  4. Players are not dumb. Mayfield called Duke out by name but he was really sending a message to those higher up in the depth chart. Wrong message to send to the lockerroom as you collect the qb 1st overall pick money.

  5. This report is from Mike Silver. Him and Hue are good friends and he’s used every opportunity to bash anything the browns or Mayfield has done since Hue was fired. So take anything he says with a grain of salt.

  6. So far Mayfield has had something to say about Hue Jackson’s personal business and now he’s got something to say about a current teammate’s personal business. I guess he thinks that kind of thing makes him a team leader, but it really has the opposite effect. Is that what Browns fans like about him?

  7. Usually we expect our QB’s to be a little more classy, but I’m actually sitting here laughing. We’ve always expected our presidents to have a little more class too, but maybe times are a changin. I guess the more I think about it, Baker Mayfield can say whatever he wants.

  8. He signed a new contract extension that he was happy about. It’s not like he’s still playing on his rookie contract. Duke is just mad because of all the new weapons they brought in.

  9. “I loved what Mayfield said. It showed great leadership for a young kid.”

    ___

    All signs point to no.

  10. Maybe they should go to a team with more sensitive men.

    Get on board or get lost. I like it.

  11. And who cares about Johnson salary in 2020…already signed and not unreasonable for any team in need of a RB in week 9 to add…plenty of teams will need him by then and Hilliard may be a suitable 3 RB anyway

  12. Mayfield better check his privilege at the door. He’s dealing with grown men now and he’s still acting like a Chad. He will lose the locker room before the season is over.

  13. mackcarrington says:
    June 13, 2019 at 5:40 pm
    So far Mayfield has had something to say about Hue Jackson’s personal business and now he’s got something to say about a current teammate’s personal business. I guess he thinks that kind of thing makes him a team leader, but it really has the opposite effect. Is that what Browns fans like about him?
    ———————
    How is this personal business? Seems like it has much to do with his career. But whatever helps you get your point across.

  14. Mouthy players are bound to make other players mad. The Browns may implode with all the mouthy players they have. Especially if they don’t play.

  15. Between Mick Sliver, Kip Clueless and Colon Cowterd….we get a lot of good information. Just wondering if Hue Jackson is Pumping a Load of something at them?

  16. Super Bowl!! Haha….

    I’ve never questioned the talent that’s on the Browns roster now. But I don’t get how there aren’t serious concerns over a young team with extremely high expectations, a first time head coach tasked with straining them, and an offense that’s being lead by a talented QB with a huge attitude and two diva receivers that were shipped out because they were wrecking the culture of their old teams. Acquiring talent is one thing, but learning how to win while handling expectations is a much bigger monster.

  17. The Bills signed Frank Gore this off season. Players say when he walks in the room players notice and when he speaks they listen because he has earned their respect. Mayfield could learn from his example.

  18. Mike Silver is a hack and little more than a mouthpiece for the disgruntled Hue Jackson.

    Nothing to see here.

  19. bigbenisabigbaby says:
    June 13, 2019 at 6:10 pm
    mackcarrington says:
    June 13, 2019 at 5:40 pm
    So far Mayfield has had something to say about Hue Jackson’s personal business and now he’s got something to say about a current teammate’s personal business. I guess he thinks that kind of thing makes him a team leader, but it really has the opposite effect. Is that what Browns fans like about him?
    ———————
    How is this personal business? Seems like it has much to do with his career. But whatever helps you get your point across.

    ===========================
    Jackson got fired and went and got himself another job. That was his personal business but Mayfield didn’t like that.
    Johnson wants to be traded. That has nothing to do with Mayfield, but he didn’t like that either.
    Please tell me how a person getting a job and another person making a request for his own benefit isn’t personal?

  20. flacidcactus says:June 13, 2019 at 5:39pm

    “This report is from Mike Silver. Him and Hue are good friends and he’s used every opportunity to bash anything the browns or Mayfield has done since Hue was fired. So take anything he says with a grain of salt.”

    =================

    Completely agree.

  21. Never seen such a delusional team, fan base, and QB reminds me of Manziel. You were 7-9, 2 wins against Cincy without AJ Green and half of the team on IR, including Dalton!! Derek Anderson got the Browns to 10-6. When they start struggling watch all of those diva WRs turn on you. Browns are setup for fsilure (AGAIN!). You’ve accomplished nothing so far, so shut up!!!!!!!!

  22. The mere fact that teammates felt comfortable raising the concerns shows that there’s already a special relationship between Mayfield and his teammates….
    OR
    The mere fact that teammates felt THEY HAD TO raise the concerns shows that there’s already a SHAKY relationship between Mayfield and his teammates.

  23. I remember this negative feeling early last year. He was choosing to praise a player on another team, I do not recall who, saying he should have been the number one draft pick in his year. The actual team mate was his team mate Miles Garrett.

    All in the media.

  24. Duke Johnson needs to stop whining be patient and get to work. Come into camp in top shape and COMPETE. A lot can happen with injuries etc. Moaning and whining about wanting a trade devalues his stock. Just come in and play good football and the contract will take care of itself.

  25. Duke Johnson has proven far more in the NFL than Mayfield has, so Mayfield needs to watch his mouth and keep his negative opinions to himself.

    As a franchise QB, he needs to realize that he can no longer speak poorly about teammates. His quote should have been: “Duke’s a good running back and I hope he stays with us. He’s an important part of our offense, so hopefully they’ll work it out.”

  26. Lets be realistic. No one is mad about what he said. He was right. The problem is everyone knows you never talk about another mans job. Especially when they are a teammate. He spoke with the vets and they worked it out. Time to move on.

  27. Damn imagine if he went to New York instead. So glad they got Darnold. I swear Dorsey loves drafting and signing players who can play but also have character issues. I didn’t like Mayfield’s comment then and am glad other players confronted him about it.

  28. You B. Crazy says:
    June 13, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Duke Johnson has proven far more in the NFL than Mayfield has, so Mayfield needs to watch his mouth and keep his negative opinions to himself.

    As a franchise QB, he needs to realize that he can no longer speak poorly about teammates. His quote should have been: “Duke’s a good running back and I hope he stays with us. He’s an important part of our offense, so hopefully they’ll work it out.”

    ———————————
    Duke didnt prove ANYTING, he isnt no-one special. His top Highlight was a very important fumble if i remember correctly.

  29. Wasn’t cool when one of the GOATs, Brett Favre, did it to Jevon Walker bakc in the day, and definitely not cool for a wet behind the ears guy who hasn’t done much does it, especially to that position that is one of the shortest tenured ones on the league where there is a short window to get paid.

  30. He didn’t say anything out of line in most cases. This case, however, is different just because Johnson IS trying to get off the train, as the article pointed out. The team is holding him hostage, despite not being fully committed to him. I don’t have any problem with what Mayfield said in general-basically that the team is going to play to win and practice to win no matter what outside influences will do-but I can see how Johnson would be perturbed by that, and considering that Johnson is not in the wrong in his roster situation, I can understand. Had this been your standard hold-out-for-money type scenario, I think it’d be much more applicable.

  31. Let’s see what happens when his contract comes up… I don’t blame Duke he was the only bright spot for the Browns for a while now he’s irrelevant I’d want a trade too, the kid can play.

  32. Baker Mayfield is only a year two player who acts like he has been there before, many times over! If this is his style of leadership, he needs to be checked, and REAL veteran leadership should be doing the checking. He has demonstrated some very serious flaws in his character, not conducive to respect and integrity. Unfortunately, this new Head Coach doesn’t appear to be equipped to reel him in.

  33. Sports is a business…

    That’s why I agree with Steve Czaban when he was not happy with Kevin Durant playing and lost out on the huge contract.

    Say all you want it’s a family or a culture but it all comes back to money.

    Johnson wants his money, Mayfield wants to win.

  34. June 13, 2019 at 9:49 pm
    Duke Johnson has proven far more in the NFL than Mayfield has, so Mayfield needs to watch his mouth and keep his negative opinions to himself.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Amazing…….

  35. As others have duly noted, this is manufactured crap from Mike Silver but if any “veteran” players have a problem with Mayfield, I’ll bet none of them were acquired by Dorsey. All those other “veterans” are LOSERS from the old culture and need to ,and will be,purged.

  36. Duke wants to be traded because they drafted more RBs? Competition is scaring him. It has nothing to do with his contract, which would be different to speak about. Win the job, that’s what Mayfield is saying or do your job. To me Duke is more of a distraction than Mayfield. Changing a “culture” takes men willing to speak up. Those same veterans need to talk to Duke.

  37. You lost me at Mike Silver. Duke Johnson brought all this Drama on himself just like baker said. You ask to be traded it means you don’t want to be there. Duke Johnson signed a new Contract LAST YEAR.

  38. I dont have any issue with the QB making a statement like that. What did he say that wasnt 100% truth? Nothing. A team looks for leaders. A team MUST have leaders. If a QB of the team has leadership, your team has a priceless asset that all 32 teams hope to have. He may have singled out Duke by name, but I believe his statement was meant for every player on the roster……and Yes, that would include you OBJ.

  39. And I also dont believe that Dukes trade request has anything to do with money. Duke feels like he is getting cast aside by a team that never figured out to utilize him fully in the past few years. Bringing in a troubled Hunt told Duke what Dorsey himself thinks of Duke. Duke says: ” Ok, Im outta here”. Nothing more to it than that

  40. You don’t talk about another players contract situation.
    But at the same time, you don’t want a player on your team that doesn’t want to be there.

    So in an instance where a player wants gone (as opposed to fighting for more money they’ve probably earned) I’m on Baker’s side here.

  41. I love Baker the player but it’s easy to forget Baker the person is a super entitled 22 year old kid who treats everything as if he is still in college at the University of Oklahoma enforcing rivalries.

    I know some people like to pass this off as manufactured but we know it isn’t because veteran players admitted to having to talk to him (and I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Thomas might have talked to him as well) over his Hue Jackson comments last season.

    It’s his job to put on his jersey and play football. Once you start telling people older than you who have been doing the thing you’re doing much longer than you how they should be doing business wise then yeah, people are going to say something to you. Especially since the Browns don’t want Johnson to leave. The reason he wants to go is he feels the organization no longer values him which will destroy his worth if he’s riding the bench until free agency and the starting QB calling him out probably has the opposite effect on convincing him that isn’t true.

  42. Oh, I am sure Duke Johnson will show his displeasure with Baker, when he miss a blitz pickup and he get crushed. As a man, no matter what profession, you never speak about or voice your opinion in public about another man’s money. If you are inclined to do so, beware of the blowback.

  43. Duke is the only rational one on the team. He sees the runaway train flying off the tracks faster than a Haslam rebate scam.

  44. I don’t find it remotely confusing. He wants to “get off the train,” Mayfield basically said “ok then”. What happens to Duke is above his paygrade. What happens on the field IS his paygrade, job description, and accountability. I like Duke and he is right to look at his options. But if my job is to win football games I am focusing on the guys on the field.

  45. bradjames33160 says:
    June 13, 2019 at 5:24 pm
    Baker Mayfield should already know better than to comment on someone else’s contract. That’s an unwritten rule everyone should know.

    I don’t believe he commented on the contract. I believe he commented about whether he was on the field or not.

  46. On Monday, NFL Network reporter Michael Silver wrote the following on Twitter: “The Browns and RB Duke Johnson have been working toward a new deal. They absolutely want to keep him. Still somewhat apart on money. We’ll keep watching.”

    Despite the Browns going 1-31 the past two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, Johnson has insisted he wants to stay in Cleveland.

    On Dec. 27, four days before the season finale, Johnson was asked if he ever needs to give himself a pep talk about coming back to the Browns, considering all of the losing he has endured since they drafted him in the third round (No. 77 overall) out of the University of Miami in 2015.

    “Me? No shot, and the reason being is this is the organization that gave me my shot,” Johnson said. “Drafted in the third round, a lot of teams passed on me, but this team took me. And I want nothing more than to start and finish my career here.”

    JUST LAST YEAR!!!!

  47. I like what Mayfield said. Johnson has a contract, if he doesn’t like it, quit.

    Mayfield is the leader of the team. It’s his team now and he can call things like he seems them. That’s the thing about Cleveland, in a Green Bay, New England, or Dallas, a rookie QB isn’t going to come in and be “the man” in the organization. The Browns have been trash since they came back into existence 20 years ago, he’s the first REAL QB they’ve had.

    He’s THE man in Cleveland.

  48. The fact that they told him to refrain from bringing up another player’s contract situation does not mean he has a “special relationship” with his teammates. The vets understand the business side of it, clearly Mayfield does not. So they addressed it because it comes with the territory in the NFL.

    Not saying he doesn’t have a good relationship with his teammates, just saying theres no correlation between the two.

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