Report that Baker Mayfield turned down $30 million per year in 2021 is called “100 percent false”

Divisional Round - Cleveland Browns v Kansas City Chiefs
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Former Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas made a bold statement on Sunday. In response, someone tried to refute it, but without putting their name on the denial.

Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Thomas said on his podcast with Andrew Hawkins that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield turned down a long-term deal worth $30 million per year in 2021. An unnamed source tells Cabot that the contention is “100 percent false” and “totally erroneous.”

The truth could be somewhere in the middle. While Cabot points out that the Browns and Mayfield’s agent never engaged in “substantive” talks on a potential extension in 2021, it’s entirely possible that they communicated sufficiently to know that, for example, Mayfield was looking for something in the range of $40 million per year and the Browns were hovering in the neighborhood of $30 million per year. As a result, there would have been no reason to have full-blown negotiations.

So maybe Thomas is saying that Mayfield could have had $30 million per year, if he’d wanted it. But he didn’t.

Based on what was known entering the 2021 season, he should have been aiming higher than $30 million per year. He’d just taken the Browns to the final eight, and he (and the Browns) gave the Chiefs everything they could handle in the divisional round of the playoffs. They did it again in Week One. Only after Mayfield injured his non-throwing shoulder while making a tackle after throwing a Week Two interception against the Texans did things start to go sideways for Mayfield.

Mayfield has a high degree of confidence in himself. It’s hardy implausible to think the Browns would have been willing to pay him $30 million, and that Mayfield stubbornly would have pressed for much more than that.

At this point, it doesn’t matter. Mayfield and the Browns will divorce. The only question is whether and to what extent the Browns will be paying his $18.8 million guaranteed salary for 2022. At a time when the Browns are trying to delicately extricate themselves from the relationship with minimal financial impact, it makes sense for the Browns to say nothing that would further alienate Mayfield — including giving credence to the idea that could have had $30 million per year in 2021, and that his refusal to accept such a package has since blown up in his face.

17 responses to “Report that Baker Mayfield turned down $30 million per year in 2021 is called “100 percent false”

  1. 40 million dollars for one playoff win? If any kdy would pay him that it would be the Browns. However they’d rather give a quarter billion to a fantastic role model and an all star proven winner. Baker should look into the mirror and realize he needs to get to work. Look who replaced you. Use this as motivation. Or whine your way into a backup role. Y

  2. I believe it. I’ve stated all along 40 mil per is crazy, but outside of that, the most he or Lamar Jackson could ever ask for (for different reasons) is 30 mil per.

    It’s clear each is not signed because they think they deserve 40 mil per as the going rate, so to speak.

    Once Mahomes got his deal and the Rodgers and Wilson deals crept into the high 30s, it was all over.

    Keep in mind, this is literally because Ozzie Newsome was so dumb to not have Flacco extended before the 2012 season, he left himself no leverage and Flacco made the 20 mil per starting in 2013, which was preposterous. Newsome then eventually got fired for it (they called it “re-assigned”, lol), and the market has been spiraling unnaturally since.

    Then it was Cousins at 28 mil per. Again, outrageous.

    One moron GM or owner doesn’t equate to what the market should bear, but as long as we have moron franchises everywhere, it will look like that’s the market, when the market needs to come down. Smart teams get this.

    It’s patently irresponsible to have the QB take up that much of the cap year to year.

  3. At this point if it isnt news about where hes getting traded..is it really even news at all?

  4. Lions future A Star QB Willis will be in his rookie contract for 4 years + the option year. He’ll set the market when his time comes. He’s Michael Vick, but with a better arm and he’s a better human being.

  5. Your right touchback6, yet if Mayfield was offered 30 million he should have taken it. Chubb has made it easier for him his entire time in Cleveland but Mayfield is still under .500 as a starter. He had every chance to win that playoff game against KC but watched Henne emerge as the victor. Yes, the Browns defense hasnt helped him enough but he has had plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball to get things done and hasnt.

  6. It was a year ago when it was this big standoff on who would get that big contract first and set the market.

    Allen, Lamar & Baker Manziel.

    Allen got his deal.

    Lamar and Baker decided to let it come to them, like it would be a prove-it year.

    Well. Now, Baker would be lucky to see another $30m combined in his career and Lamar plays well enough to get a crazy franchise tag.

    I 100% believe $30m new money average was floated on a 5 year deal. A star QB is worth that. Holding out absolutely cost him his career because he simply isn’t good enough to command that kind of money as a FA.

  7. Baker ain’t worth 30 mil. He shoulda took it. But as usual, he thinks too much of himself to not realize the best situation.

  8. Watson blowing up in their faces (he was 4-12 the last season he played, he still has legal and PR issues) , Mayfield getting cut and winding up with the Steelers – this has the potential to be the most Browns thing ever

  9. Baker should eat a pay cut to around 7 or 8 million to stay with the Browns. Good money for a backup. He will play a lot during Watson’s suspension. He can rebuild his reputation. A win win. It could be a Nick Foles scenario. If he plays well and keeps his mouth shut, he could be in line for big money in 2023.

  10. Maybe it is a untrue rumor Mayfield turned down $30 Mill/yr. But how many people will argue that he doesn’t have the arrogance to do that?

  11. Yeah, that’s a thing. The money was 30mil/yr. And I wanna say it came out about between the time the 2020 reg season ended and they went to KC for the Div. Rd. I remember hearing it from the analysts calling a game, but I’m not certain. I thought to myself, “Well there’s no rush to sign right now, hes prolly more focused on playing”, so I assumed they get back to it that off season. But when it first hit me I was good with it, like “yeah alright good, Berry’s making the right moves”. And they had just locked Garrett in the previous off season, and mid way through 2020 they extended the RBs, so Baker was obviously the next man up. I remember that. During the div Rd. Game Tony Romo spoke to Mayfields contract situation coming up in the next few years he may have been the guy to be honest. And if you go back and watch that game it was good, but I thought the Browns played better than they actually did. The first half was not real effective, and then in the 2nd half you’ll see the Chiefs take the foot off the gas, as we’ve seen them do plenty by now. And the disparity in the officiating was pretty gross as well. But yeah it may have been Romo that day who broke that news or whatever. I thought it was real, it made sense and of course the only thing I thought that could derail Mayfields payday was an injury and well….
    But Old Smokie Joe was not lying, and the Browns FO is and has been fairly hush about most things, so. I am of the belief of that being the moment that soured the future of the franchise at least for the 21 season. Nothing and no one was the same and you could point out small situations that when added up were pretty significant. I think Mayfield jumped the gun, and I blame his management team, they certainly must be called into question after all of this. I dont know what them Dudes got going on, but it hasn’t been the future of their QB that’s been for sure! Baker Mayfield can play football, and he can be very effective. But he’s young and when I was young I made alot more serious mistakes so I’m not gonna keep raggin’ on the dude, but that management team , I dunno. IDNR.

    Browns in ’22

  12. Turns down $30M+ per year……is finding out nobody wants him. Well played Baker.

    Maybe he can blame his failures on the fans and everyone else but himself. His career sure has taken a nosedive with an assist from his adolescent behavior.

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