Baker Mayfield is not taking the high road.
In response to a report from Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Mayfield may ask to be traded due to issues with coach Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield went on the offensive, on Twitter.
“Clickbait,” Mayfield said on Twitter. “You and many other Cleveland local media continue to be drama stirring reporters with no sources or facts. Don’t put words in my mouth so you can put food on your table. I’m not your puppet.”
Taking on the folks who cover the Browns for a living is a bold strategy, especially since the fan base has grown ambivalent at best about Baker. (My niece, who is as mainstream a Browns fan as there is, recently texted that she is “so over Baker.”) From Mayfield’s perspective, whether he may or may not want a trade due to issues with the coaching staff should be secondary to the very real possibility that the Browns will decide that they can do better than Baker at quarterback.
The Browns have embraced analytics in all aspects of the football operation. This attitude necessarily includes making objective, rational, scientific decisions about the most important position on the field.
It all comes down to the bird in the hand (and his cap number) versus whatever else the Browns can do. They definitely need to engage in that analysis, even if the end result is to keep Mayfield.
Mayfield has a prickly side, especially for a guy with zero pelts on the wall. Typically, whatever someone is willing to say or do publicly becomes magnified privately.
Only the Browns know whether they believe that Mayfield is the answer, for 2022 and/or beyond. Now could be the time to move on — regardless of whether Mayfield will or won’t make a preemptive trade request.