Browns reportedly “plan” to move forward with Baker Mayfield

NFL: JAN 03 Browns at Steelers
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As the offseason arrives for the 18 non-playoffs team, the time has come to device, and to leak, plans. Plans to do this. Plans to not to do that. Tentative positions reached for strategic reasons and at all times subject to change.

That’s the most important thing to remember when digesting the ongoing flurry of reports regarding plans and intentions. The smart teams develop and divulge plans deliberately, not haphazardly. They have a specific goal in mind, and it can be as simple as (in the case of an underachieving quarterback entering the option year of his rookie deal) trying to create a trade market.

According to NFL Media, the Browns plan to keep Baker Mayfield for 2022, the final season of his rookie deal. At $18.8 million, it’s a reasonable salary for a fifth year, giving the Browns a chance to see how he plays before making any firm and final decisions.

There’s a chance they’ve already seen enough, however, and that they intend to explore all options without telling the world that they intend to explore all options. If they’ve decided to move on from Mayfield, they would have no reason to reveal that plan. First, they would hurt their leverage in any trade talks if other teams know they’re done with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft. Second, they may not be able to trade him at all. Third, they may be unable to get a replacement on terms they regard as favorable.

That’s the game when it comes to the art/science of negotiating with other NFL teams. The Browns don’t want to start making calls in an effort to find someone to take Mayfield. They want another team to become interested in Mayfield, and to call the Browns first.

Likewise, the Browns don’t want to seem desperate to make a trade or to sign a veteran. There’s a subtlety. A coyness. A detachment that’s needed to get things done the right way.

For the Browns, that starts with getting the word out, through the media outlet they partially own, that they “plan” to keep Mayfield. Then, if they ultimately can’t devise and implement a better approach, they can claim that they planned all along to keep him.

24 responses to “Browns reportedly “plan” to move forward with Baker Mayfield

  1. Mayfield may be simply a mediocre NFL QB that bounces around between teams that need a placeholder until they get their franchise QB. Mayfield has had weapons on the offense but never made the most of what was at his disposal (Chubb/Hunt/ODB/Landry). And the defense has been good enough to make games competitive. Time to move on…Mayfield does not deserve QB1 money.

  2. He was very good in 2020. If Mayfield plays that well in 2022, then consider the new contract or Tag. If he is mediocre and malcontent in 2022, they can move on.

  3. So the “plan” is to keep the Factory of Sadness in place for years to come then!! Good Times!! and Go Bengals!!

  4. In Mayfield’s defense, I don’t believe he was responsible for calling the plays. Why would his HC continue calling pass plays against run porous defenses while he has two of the best running backs in the league? The Brown’s HC cost them at least three victories this season with his absent minded passing game.

  5. He could be just like Ryan Tannehill who when was playing with the dolphins just did not seem to quite fit in well, yet moved on to Tennessee and it seemed he picked up his game and flourished.

  6. Tanneyhill is nothing but a game manager. I wouldn’t say he’s much better. He’s on a better team. Mayfield has a good enough team around him. He’s just not that good.

  7. Browns would rather move forward with a QB that has proven nothing other than “game manager” potential even with a boatload of talent surrounding him. I guess the shame of picking him #1 overall is too much to bear and overcome for the front office.

  8. Baker is a tough minded gamer with talent galore. Crappy play calling and a severely injured shoulder caused a lost season. I think its great that they let him play it out as this dude has a mega chip on his shoulder which is when he plays his best. He’s a winner and will prove it next year.

  9. I think that with the right coach / coordinator, the right weapons and the right attitude, this guy can be adequate. The sticking point will be the attitude, work hard, play within a system. Understand that he is not A-Rod to TB12.

  10. An injured Baker Mayfield had a bad season – shocker! Hoping for a speedy recovery and rehabilitation, and good football moving forward.
    Go Browns!

  11. curtis20 says:
    January 9, 2022 at 10:42 am
    So the “plan” is to keep the Factory of Sadness in place for years to come then!! Good Times!! and Go Bengals!!
    Say what you want, but, even with the Brown’s poor history, they have two playoff wins since the Bengals last had a playoff win.

  12. Mayfield will bounce back next season. Berry will provide wide receiver help in the off season. Future is bright.

  13. All those fans that are ready to throw Baker Mayfield in the garbage seem to easily forget witnessing not just bad but earth shattering bad quarterback play since 1999. We Browns fans are SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS at bad quarterback play. We should know that the 2020 season of 1 playoff win and beating the Steelers back to back with 11 wins gives Baker an opportunity to come back from injury and prove it wasn’t a fluke.

  14. The Browns don’t have much of a choice. They can’t take on a huge cap hit without trading Mayfield, and nobody is taking on a guy who’s as busted up as he is. So, draft a QB in ’22, one of the worst draft classes for QBs in recent memory? Nope. The Browns have to roll the dice with healthy Baker and draft him a WR to go opposite Peoples-Jones, unless another NFL team makes them an offer they can’t refuse. Help us, oh Minnesota Vikings, you’re our only hope.

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