Browns believe in Baker Mayfield and expect him to take another step in 2021

Divisional Round - Cleveland Browns v Kansas City Chiefs
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A handful of teams have their franchise quarterback and know it. Some, like the Browns, have seen enough to think they do and plan to build around the quarterback they have.

Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock, while praising Derek Carr, didn’t rule out an upgrade if an upgrade (Russell Wilson?) becomes a possibility. Jets General Manager Joe Douglas admitted he will listen if anyone calls about Sam Darnold.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, the Browns have no doubt who will start for them in 2021. Barring injury, Baker Mayfield will spend a fourth season under center for the Browns.

“The quarterback position is in my mind the most important position in professional sports,’’ Berry said Wednesday, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “And until you have a baseline of winning-level quarterback play, it’s really difficult to win and make progress in the NFL, and oftentimes if that position isn’t productive or isn’t solidified, it can feel a lot like operating in neutral.

“That’s something that’s certainly not lost on us, and it’s definitely not lost on us as an organization.’’

The Browns, though, have a decision — or decisions — to make regarding Mayfield. They have until May 3 to decide whether to pick up Mayfield’s fifth-round option.

It would seem a good bet the Browns exercise it, but Berry wasn’t saying one way or the other.

“We’ve been pretty consistent with our messaging around Baker that we think he had a really strong season for us,’’ Berry said. “We like the maturation and the growth both on and off the field, and we’re looking forward to him continuing to take steps this second year of the offense.”

The biggest decision the Browns face is whether to give Mayfield an extension. The Eagles did with Carson Wentz and the Rams did with Jared Goff after three season, and neither quarterback remains on the roster of the team that drafted him. The Bucs didn’t with Jameis Winston and the Titans didn’t with Marcus Mariota, and neither player remains with the team that drafted him.

The Texans did with Deshaun Watson last Sept. 5, and Watson now seeks a trade from Houston.

The Chiefs’ commitment to Patrick Mahomes has worked out well.

Berry, who worked for the Eagles in 2019, said it was a stretch to call Wentz a cautionary tale when it comes to quarterback extensions.

Mayfield, 25, can make the debate moot by continuing to improve. He went 11-5 as the team’s starter last season and won a playoff game, while throwing for 3,563 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

He will not have to learn a new playbook or adjust to a new playcaller this season, which should help his development.

“Like all of our players, we want to see him take strides and show growth as we go into year two within our offensive and defensive systems,’’ Berry said. “Baker is the first quarterback in — you guys probably know the years more than I do — that’s led this team to the playoffs and a playoff victory.

“He’s endured an enormous amount of adversity in his young career just quite honestly with the changes that he’s gone through with the coaching staffs, front offices, offensive systems, and he’s risen above it all. And so I think we all saw him grow from week to week to week last year, and we expect him to continue that progress and have a fantastic 2021 season for us.’’

15 responses to “Browns believe in Baker Mayfield and expect him to take another step in 2021

  1. The man survived Hue Jackson AND Freddie Kitchens, and came out better in the end. I don’t think anyone else could have overcome that sort of adversity. Lock this man in before he ends up in Pittsburgh.

  2. Considering the Browns sorry record at drafting QBs high (i.e. Couch, Weeden, Manziel et al)
    pay this man then shore up the defense and make CLE proud!

  3. Baker gives the Browns personality, that is for sure. I’m not counting on him becoming top-5 elite, but they’ve been a much more interesting and popular franchise since he showed up.

  4. Not seeing it with Mayfield. Good, maybe slightly better than average, but not great.

  5. Baker is a baller. Someone needs him. Especially the Browns. Most I have been excited about the Browns in 30 years.

  6. We’ll see how much they believe in him when he gets that extension this off-season..

    oh..they don’t seem to be planning to do that? Strange given how much they believe in him..

  7. The TDs to INTs ratio is very good, the yardage is probably average but they have a really good running game. He’s doing exactly what any team wants from their drafted quarterback, maturing and getting better with each passing year.

  8. QB contracts have become so ridiculous lately. In all likelihood, Baker will probably be a top 10-15 QB, which is still better than half the league has. However, if they sign him to $35-40 million a year, that’s too much for a top 10-15 QB. If they don’t sign him, well, they’re the Browns, and they’ll be back to having a bottom 5 QB until the rest of time.

    Decisions… decisions…

  9. If am the Browns I offer Mayfield, Kareem Hunt and Landry plus a 3 this year a 1 next year for Deshaun.

    Not sure if Deshaun would love the weather. But Chubb and Odell, plus Njoku and that defense? They lose depth at running back two studs are a luxury, not a necessity.

    Plus they keep their higher pick this year and would definitely be picking in the 20’s next year.

    Doubt they have the brains or gaul to pull that off….how does the Texans give that up? Build the D in the draft and bolster the online with your two ones next year.

  10. I’m not a huge Baker fan, but i definetly think with the right pieces and a good defense the Browns can win a SB with him. He is way more mentally strong than Wentz was, he may never be a top 5 guy but he wont implode like Carson did.

  11. He should have beaten KC. I wouldnt give him the extension but if they do, dont sign him big till he makes an AFC Championship game …

  12. Baker is overrated.. wait until he wins 6-7 games this year. No Jags nor jets

  13. I think Mayfield HAS reached his potential. Good, not great. He could improve slightly, but I don’t see Cleveland improving this year as a team. Not gonna sneak up on anyone this year. Also Cleveland was 8-1 in one score games. Not sustainable. Most winning teams are anywhere from 4-4 to5-3 in one score games, except KC which was also 8-1 and who has Mahomes(who Baker is not)

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